52nd GST Council Meeting: Key recommendations unveiled for GST reforms

The 52nd GST Council Meeting, held on  7 October was chaired by Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman

The 52nd GST Council Meeting, held on  7 October was chaired by Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman. This unfolded key recommendations aimed at bolstering the Goods and Services Tax (GST) structure. In a session attended by notable dignitaries including Union Minister of State for Finance Shri Pankaj Chaudhary, Chief Ministers of Goa and Meghalaya, and Finance Ministers of States & UTs, the council put forth significant adjustments across GST rates, trade facilitation measures, and compliance procedures.

The proposed changes in GST rates for goods include a nil GST rate for loose sales of millet flour with a 70% millet content, and a 5% rate for pre-packaged and labelled sales. Secondly, for big ships that usually sail internationally but temporarily change to sail closer to the coast, they might not have to pay certain taxes during this temporary change, but only if they switch back to international sailing within six months. There’s a kind of syrup called molasses that’s used to make things like cattle food. The GST on this syrup used to be 28%, but now it’s reduced to 5%. This change is meant to help sugarcane farmers get paid more quickly and lower the cost of making cattle food.


In the realm of services, the council recommended exemptions for services related to water supply, public health, sanitation conservancy, solid waste management, and slum improvement provided to Governmental Authorities. Further clarifications were provided regarding the taxability of personal guarantees offered by directors and corporate guarantees provided for related persons.

The new plan is advocated to make things easier for people who have issues with their taxes. If bearer couldn’t appeal a decision on taxes by a certain date, plan lets you do it until January 31, 2024.Some additional conditions are needed to follow, like paying a certain amount upfront.The government is also giving more details about how they tax guarantees. For example, if someone promises to pay back a loan for a company but doesn’t get any money for it, they might not have to pay taxes on that promise.

Enhancements in law and procedures were also discussed, including amendments to the CGST Act to align provisions with the Tribunal Reforms Act, 2021, specifying conditions for the appointment of the President and Members of the proposed GST Appellate Tribunals. Amendments were also proposed to make the Input Service Distributor (ISD) procedure mandatory for the distribution of Input Tax Credit (ITC) in specific scenarios.