GST Compendium – June 2021

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The June edition of GST Compendium captures several key relief announcements made by the authorities pertaining to the second wave of COVID-19.

Key highlights of the publication

  • Important updates/announcements: The 43rd GST Council meeting was held after eight months and various tax relief measures were proposed to reduce the hardship caused to the taxpayers by the pandemic. Certain goods such as medical oxygen, oxygen concentrators, diagnostic markers test kits and COVID-19 vaccines have been recommended for full exemption from Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) up to 31 August 2021.
  • Key judicial pronouncements: The Delhi High Court (HC) has held that the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020 is clear and unambiguous as it excludes the telecom services providers from the benefit of the Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) and not the other service providers who provides various services to the telecom sector. Hence, issuance of instructions denying benefit to such service providers under SEIS is ultra vires. While such schemes have been introduced with the intention to provide benefit to the exporters, the ambiguities in the governing provisions often lead to either denial or delay in such benefits thereby leading to further litigation. This is a welcome judgment by the Delhi HC and provides clarity on this subject.
  • Decoding Advance Rulings: Recently, the Maharashtra Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) held that the activity of the liaison office (LO) connecting Indian business with its overseas head office (HO) shall be regarded as supply of ‘intermediary services’ exigible to GST. Divergent rulings on this subject have led to confusion on the applicability of GST on transactions between HO and LO. A suitable clarification from the government on this issue will help avoid unnecessary dispute and litigation on this subject.
  • Experts’ column: We discuss on the taxability of human plasma under erstwhile law as well as GST regime and the dilemma as regards its applicable GST rate.