New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman virtually chaired the 48th meeting of the goods and services tax (GST) Council meeting here today.

The finance minister said that no tax increase has been declared on any item today.

The Council recommended slashing the GST on biofuel down from 18 per cent to 5 per cent and reducing tax on Husk of pulses including chilka and concentrates including chuni/churi, khanda to zero from 5 per cent.

Further, it also decided to include the supply of Mentha arvensis under the reverse charge mechanism as has been done for Mentha Oil.

The GST Council recommended three types of offences be decriminalized. No decision on the taxation of tobacco and gutka was taken, despite it being among the prominent issues on the Council meeting’s agenda today.

In another key decision, the Council has doubled the threshold for launching prosecution from Rs 1 crore to Rs 2 crore. It has further decided to reduce the compounding amount from the present range of 50 to 150 per cent of tax amount to the range of 25 to 100 per cent.

The Council decided that there is no procedure for the claim of refund of tax borne by the unregistered buyers in cases where the contract/ agreement for the supply of services, like construction of flat/house and long-term insurance policy, is cancelled and the time period of issuance of credit note by the concerned supplier is over.

The Council recommended an amendment in CGST Rules, 2017, along with the issuance of a circular, to prescribe the procedure for filing an application of refund by unregistered buyers in such cases.

The Council also announced that insurance companies’ no-claim bonus will not attract GST from now.