According to media reports, a proposal to fix the GST rate at a flat 12 per cent on all restaurants will be presented before the Council when it meets on November 9 and 10 in Guwahati.
In good news, the government has considered the case of scrapping the GST rate on distinction between air-conditioned (AC) and non-air-conditioned restaurants.
If adopted, AC restaurants will charge 12 per cent GST bringing them at par with non-AC restaurants.
With only over 15.50 lakh businesses out of 98 lakh registered under the GST regime opting for the composition scheme, the GST Council chose to set up the GoM to examine ways of making it more attractive.
The GoM was formed by the all-powerful GST Council in its last meeting on October 6 with the mandate to revisit the GST rates for various categories of restaurants with a view of rationalising or reducing the said rates.
The 5-member panel has group of ministers, and under Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, has agreed to back reduction in the levy on restaurants from 18 per cent to 12 per cent and withdrawal of the input tax credit facility available to eateries. That is when a decision on the changing the tax slab for AC restaurants is expected to be taken.
The GST Council had earlier set up a panel to look into the matter after several complaints were lodged that the restaurants were pocketing the benefit of input tax credit for taxes paid by suppliers.
Another task assigned to the ministerial panel is to find way to make the composition scheme more attractive.
Five per cent for restaurants with a turnover of up to Rs 1 crore and which opt for the composition scheme, and 12% for others. The taxpayer is, however, not eligible for claiming input tax credit.
However, the food price index showed a marginal rise in inflation at 20.32 percent in September, up from 20.25 percent in August. It said all key divisions which contributed to the index increased during the month under review.
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