GST Circular 164/2020/2021 | Clarifications regarding applicable GST rates & exemptions on certain services

GST Circular No 164/2020/2021

The issues have been examined by GST Council in the 45rd meeting of the Council held on 17th September, 2021. The issue-wise clarifications are given below:

1. Services by cloud kitchens/central kitchens:
Service provided by way of cooking and supply of food, by cloud kitchens/central kitchens are covered under „restaurant service‟, as defined in notification No. 11/2017- Central Tax (Rate) and attract 5% GST [without ITC].

2. Supply of ice cream by ice cream parlors
ice cream parlors sell already manufactured ice- cream and do not cook/prepare ice-cream for consumption like a restaurant, it is supply of ice cream as goods and not as a service, even if the supply has certain ingredients of service. Accordingly, it is clarified that ice cream sold by a parlor or any similar outlet would attract GST at the rate of 18%.

3. Coaching services supplied by coaching institutions and NGOs under the central sector scheme of ‘Scholarships for students with Disabilities”
Where total expenditure is borne by the Government is covered under entry 72 of notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 28th June, 2017 and hence exempt from GST.

4. Satellite launch services provided by M/s New Space India Limited (NSIL).
It has been clarified vide Circular No. 2/1/2017-IGST dated 27.09.2017 that Place of Supply (PoS) of satellite launch services supplied by ANTRIX Corporation Ltd to customers located outside India is outside India and such supply which meets the requirements of section 2(6) of IGST Act, constitutes export of service and shall be zero rated. If the service recipient is located in India, the satellite launch services would be taxable.
As the satellite launch services supplied by NSIL are similar to those supplied by ANTRIX Corporation Ltd, the said circular No. 2/1/2017-IGST dated 27.09.2017, is applicable to them.

5. GST on overloading charges at toll plaza.
Overloading charges at toll plazas would get the same treatment as given to toll charges.
Entry 23 of notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 28th June, 2017, exempts Service by way of access to a road or a bridge on payment of toll charges.

6. Renting of vehicles to State Transport Undertakings and Local Authorities
Services where the said vehicles are rented or given on hire to State Transport Undertakings or Local Authorities are eligible for the exemption irrespective of whether such vehicles are run on routes, timings as decided by the State Transport Undertakings or Local Authorities and under effective control of State Transport Undertakings or Local Authorities which determines the rules of operation or plying of vehicles.

7. Services by way of grant of mineral exploration and mining rights
The service by way of grant of mining rights, during the period 1.7.2017 to 31.12.2018, it was taxable at 18% in view of principle laid down in the 14th meeting of the Council for residuary GST rate. Post, 1st January, 2019 no dispute remains as stated above.

8. Admission to indoor amusement parks having rides etc.
28% rate [entry 34 (iiia)] applies on admission to a place having casino or race club [even if it provides certain other activities] or admission to a sporting event like IPL. On the other hand, Entry 34 (iii), having a rate of 18%, covers all other cases of admission to amusement parks, or theme park etc or any place having joy rides, merry- go rounds, go- carting etc, whether indoor or outdoor, so long as no access is provided to a casino or race club. This clarification will also apply to Entries 34(iii) and 34(iiia) as they existed prior to their amendment w.e.f 01.10.2021.

9. Services supplied by contract manufacturers to brand owners for manufacture of alcoholic liquor for human consumption
The expression “food and food products” excludes alcoholic beverages for human consumption. As such, in common parlance also alcoholic liquor is not considered as food. Accordingly, services by way of job work in relation to manufacture of alcoholic liquor for human consumption are not eligible for the GST rate of 5% prescribed under the said entry. GST Council recommended that such job work would attract GST at the rate of 18%.

Mandeep Kulkarni

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