In a monsoon bonanza for consumers, the GST Council today cut tax rates on several general-use items such as TV, washing machine and refrigerators. Not just that, conceding to a year-long demand, the Council has now put sanitary napkins under the exempted category. The new rates would come into effect from July 27. The rate reductions is estimated to cost the government exchequer nearly Rs 7,000 crore.
Earlier, the council had revised tax rates on 29 items in January. The biggest rate rationalisation decision was taken by the council in November 2017 when over 200 items were brought in to lower tax brackets from 28%, 18%, and 12%.
Here are all the key decisions taken in the 28th GST Council meeting:
- Rates for 17 white goods including — Washing machine, Refrigerators, TV, Video games, Vacuum cleaners, Trailers, Juicer mixer, Grinders, Shavers & Hair driers, water cooler, water heaters, Lithium iron batteries, electric iron — cut by 10 per cent from 28 per cent to 18 per cent. GST rate of 18% will be applicable to TVs up to 68 cm (27 inch) in size.
- Sanitary napkins to get cheaper as it has been put under exempted category. Napkins were taxed at 12 per cent earlier.
- Simpler return filing process approved. Quarterly returns for business turnover up to Rs 5 crore instead of monthly filings. However, tax payment would be monthly. Nearly 93 per cent traders and small business will get benefited from this. Exemption limit for traders in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Himalaya, Sikkim, increased from Rs 10 lakh to 20 lakh.
- Council has also approved simpler returns filing process.
- Hotels to be taxed on actual tariff basis not on declared tariff.
- Rates on paints, wall putty and Varnish down to 18 per cent from 28 per cent.
- Common-use foot wares Rs 1,000 to be taxed at 5 per cent.
- Ethanol oil for oil companies to be taxed at 5 per cent in place of 18 per cent earlier.
- GST rates for all leather items reduced to 18 per cent from 28 per cent.
- GST rates cut to 18% for special purpose vehicles, work truck, trailers.
- Rates on scents, toilet spray now under 18 per cent slab.
- Marbles, stone and wood deities get exemption. Rakhis, fortified milk also exempted.
- No decision on sugar cess, to be decided in next meeting.
- GST on bamboo flooring put under 12 per cent category.
- Handicraft items to now be taxed at 12 per cent.
- GST on handbags, jewellery box, wooden box for paintings, artware of glass, stone endeavour, ornamental framed mirrors, handmade lamps etc reduced to 12%.
- Goods and Services Tax on imported urea reduced to 5%.
- GST council has cleared 46 amendments which will be passed in Parliament.
- Soon RFID tags will be introduced with Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) for transporters to reduce harassment of transporters.