Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday (10 January 2019) said
that the GST Council has decided to double the GST exemption limit to Rs 20
lakh for north eastern states and Rs 40 lakh for the rest of the country
providing relief to small businesses.
The turnover limit
for businesses availing composition scheme has also been increased to Rs 1.5
crore from Rs 1 crore at present starting April 1, 2019. The GST Council has
also approved the annual return and quarterly tax payment under the composition
scheme, he added.
Besides this, those providing services and both Goods and
Services with turnover up to Rs 50 lakh will be entitled to avail composition
scheme, Finance Minister said after conclusion of 32nd GST Council meeting held
The GST exemption threshold has also been hiked from Rs
20 lakh to Rs 40 lakh and the rate for services under composition scheme has
now been fixed at 6 percent which is lower than service tax and GST paid
previously. The council has also allowed Kerala to levy 1 per cent calamity
cess on intra-state sales for a period of up to two years.
The economy is now seeing improvced response to GST
compositioon scheme, Arun Jaitley said. He also said that the
council will consider further reduction in rates only when revenues move up.
In its last meeting, the GST Council had cut tax rates on
seven items previously placed in the highest tax slab. Rationalising the 28 per
cent tax slab, the council had pruned the GST rates on six items to 18 per cent
slab and one item to five per cent slab. In total, the panel had reduced rates
on 23 goods and services.
After its last meeting in December, the Council had
expressed concern over the lack of smaller service providers not opting for GST
registration, which was attributed to relatively higher tax rate of 18% and