The Good and Services Tax Council on Saturday decriminalised several offences specified in the Central Goods and Services Tax Act of 2017, the finance ministry said.

Among the offences decriminalised included the obstruction or preventing any officer in the discharge of his duties, deliberate tampering of material evidence and the failure to supply the information.

The decisions were taken at a GST Council meeting attended by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Choudhary and finance ministers of all states and Union Territories.

At a press conference after the meeting, Sitharaman said no new taxes have been introduced and added that the Council could decide on only eight out of the 15 items on the agenda due to paucity of time.

At Saturday’s meeting, the GST on the husk of pulses was reduced to 0% from 5%, while the tax levied on ethyl alcohol to refineries for blending with motor spirit (petrol) was reduced from 18% to 5%.

Among the items not considered included the setting up of appellate tribunals for GST and the issue of setting up a mechanism to curb tax evasion in pan masala and gutkha businesses.

Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra said the issue of levying GST on online gaming and casinos could not be discussed as the report of a Group of Ministers, chaired by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, on the issue submitted its report a few days back, reported PTI.

He also added that the Council agreed to raise the minimum threshold of launching prosecution to Rs 2 crore from Rs 1 crore.

However, offences related to the issuance of invoices without the supply of goods or services, or both, remains exempted.