Earlier this month, in a bid to encourage start-ups making satellites to use ISRO's domestic launching services, GST Council has decided to exempt 18% GST levied on satellite launch services offered by the space agency ISRO and its commercial arm Antrix Corporation Ltd as well as New Space India Limited (NSIL).

In a 42nd meeting held on 5th of this month, GST Council recommended that 18% GST will be completely scrapped, said a notification announcement on Friday.

Prior to this announcement, an Indian satellite-maker must pay 18%t GST to launch satellites on ISRO’s rockets, whereas a foreign customer can do the same without paying any GST.

In a notification dated 16 October, that seeks to amend Notification No. 12/2017- Central Tax (Rate) the 28th June, 2017 which pertains to Exemptions on supply of services under CGST Act, serial number 19C is added in order to exempt Satellite launch services supplied by Indian Space Research Organization, Antrix Corporation Limited or New Space India Limited.

The startups that are manufacturing satellites will be exempted from GST now when they choose Indian launch vehicle.

The announcement also proved to be an incentive to those Satellite making startups that were earlier forced to opt for foreign rockets for their initial satellite launch. Notably, earlier the launch services provided to foreign companies was ironically qualify as “export of service” which are exempt from the levy of GST. So it is cheaper for an Indian-origin company or Stat-up ventures to register their business in a foreign country and launch using ISRO rockets as a foreign customer.

In 2018, the Falcon 9 rocket of Elon Musk-promoted firm SpaceX took off its space flight and carried 70 satellites from 16 countries including one from India called 'ExceedSAT 1', which became the first ever private satellite from India.

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