Inclusion of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) in GST to be discussed in next Council meet: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

The Centre will table the issue of bringing aviation turbine fuel (ATF) under the GST net for discussion in the next meeting of the GST Council, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, while noting that rising global fuel prices are a “concern”.

When the GST was introduced on July 1, 2017, amalgamating over a dozen central and state levies, five commodities of crude oil, natural gas, petrol, diesel and ATF were kept out of its purview given the revenue dependence of the central and state governments on this sector.

Sitharaman, in a post-Budget discussion with industry chamber Assocham, said a final decision of inclusion of ATF in GST will be taken by the Council, which comprises finance ministers from central and state governments.

“It is not with … (the Centre) alone, it has got to go to the GST Council. The next time we meet in the Council, I will put it on the table for them to discuss it,” she said. The next meeting of the Council is expected by either in end-February or in March.

Currently, the central government levies excise duty on ATF while state governments charge VAT. These taxes, with excise duty, in particular, have been raised periodically with rising oil prices.

Including oil products in GST will not just help companies set off tax that they paid on input but will also bring about uniformity in taxation on the fuels in the country.

“Of course just not for the airline but the global price of fuel is now a concern for all of us, more so for airlines which have not seen a complete head-up post the pandemic,” Sitharaman said. She said she will speak with the banks to see what best can be done for the airline sector. “You also spoke about the industry status to be given so that it can help attain better banking assistance. I will have a word with banks on that,” she said.

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