New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced that the central government will release Rs 20,000 crore GST compensation cess collected this year to the state and union territory (UTs) governments.

During the 42nd GST Council meeting, Sitharaman said that Rs 24,000 crores of IGST will be released to the states that had received less earlier, will be disbursed by the end of next week. She further said that the government has decided to extend the compensation cess beyond June 2022.

"Nobody is going to be denied the compensation which has arisen out of implementation of GST and COVID impact. A discussion with States is on. Around 20 States have written that they opt for Option 1," news agency ANI quoted Sitharaman as saying.

The Finance Ministry further informed that firms and companies with turnover less than Rs 5 crore can now file quarterly returns rather than a monthly basis, noting that it "will be a major relief to small taxpayers".

"From the first of January onwards, the taxpayers whose annual turnover is less than Rs 5 crores will not be required to file monthly returns i.e GSTR 3B and GSTR1. They will only file quarterly returns," Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey was quoted as saying by ANI.

"Number of returns comes down from 24 monthly returns to 8 returns, from 1st January 2021," he added.

Sitharaman on Monday chaired the 42nd Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meet. Apart from Sitharaman, Minister of State (MoS) for Finance Anurag Thakur and Finance Ministers of States and Union Territories (UT) were also present in the meeting.

Sitharaman had chaired the last GST Council meet on August 27 where she announced that the Centre has given states two options for GST compensation including a special window in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to provide Rs 97,000 crores at a reasonable interest rate and that the entire GST compensation gap of Rs 2,35,000 crores this year can be met by them in consultation with RBI.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma