Online food-delivery operators such as Zomato and Swiggy will collect 5 percent Goods and Services Tax, from consumers instead of the restaurant they pick up orders from, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Friday after a meeting of the GST Council in Lucknow.
The finance ministry clarified that no new taxes were being announced, and that the GST collection point was simply being transferred. Hence the end-users will not have to pay anything extra.
Earlier, tax was paid by restaurants but now the aggregators will pay the tax, the GST Council decided.
Swiggy and Zomato are now registered as Tax Collectors at Source under GST. The tweak will curb a high level of tax evasion, reports said.
The Council also extended concessional tax rates on certain COVID-19 drugs by three months till 31 December.
Not right time to bring petrol and diesel under GST: FM
The Council, which comprises the Union finance minister and her state counterparts, decided to continue keeping petrol and diesel out of the GST purview as subsuming the current excise duty and VAT into one national rate would impact revenues.
The Union minister said the time was not right to bring petroleum products under the ambit of GST.
Briefing reporters on the decisions taken by the Council at a meeting in Lucknow, Sitharaman said GST has been exempted on muscular atrophy drugs like Zolgensma and Viltepso, which cost crores of rupees.
The finance minister announced the revised GST rate on several medicines, including for the treatment of cancer. "We have taken quite a few people-friendly decisions. I am very happy that some of them are long-pending," the minister said.
It extended the period of concessional GST rates on certain COVID-related drugs by three months till 31 December, but decided not to give the same benefit to medical equipment.
The concessional regime for certain medical equipment will end on 30 September.
Also, the Council cut GST rate from 12 percent to 5 percent on cancer-related rugs and on fortified rice kernels to 5 percent from 18 percent.
GST rate on bio-diesel
GST rate on bio-diesel for blending in diesel was reduced to 5 percent from 12 percent, while the national permit fee for goods carriage has been exempt from GST.
Import of leased aircraft have also been exempted from payment of I-GST, the finance minister said.
The panel decided to levy 18 percent GST on all sorts of pens. Specified renewable sector devices will be charged 12 percent tax.
GST Council also recommended new footwear and textile rates from 1 January.
With inputs from PTI