The Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates on 66 goods and services was reduced by the GST Council on Sunday, 11 June. This change comes following 133 representations from various industry manufacturers like hybrid cars, sanitary napkins, telephone bills, and ships.
The GST is the comprehensive indirect tax reform that will be applicable from 1 July 2017.
During the Sunday meeting, the GST Council revised rates on 66 items which included pickles, sauces, fruit preserves, insulin, cashew nuts, insulin, school bags, colouring books, notebooks, printers, cutlery, agarbattis, and cinema tickets.
Addressing reporters, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “The proceedings of the last GST Council meeting were approved and we received a large number of recommendations from various sectors of the economy. The GST rates on goods decided today would make the goods cheaper for the common man but may cost to revenue of the government.” He added that traders, manufacturers and restaurants with a turnover of upto Rs 75 lakh can avail the composition scheme against Rs 50 lakh earlier.
Mr Jaitley further mentioned that the reasons for reduction were based on two major principles: maintaining equivalence and the change in the utilisation behaviour.
Here are the rates which have been revised by the council:
- There would be two categories of GST rates on cinema, 28% in case tickets above Rs.100 and 18% in case of tickets up to Rs 100.
- GST rate on printers cut to 18% from the 28% that was decided earlier.
- Packaged food, including some fruits and vegetables, pickles, toppings, instant food, sauces revised from 18% to 12%.
- GST rate on children’s colouring books cut to nil from 12%.
- GST on insulin, agarbattis lowered to 5% from 12%.
- GST on school bags to attract tax of 18% as compared to the 28% earlier.
- GST rate on insulin cut from 12 to 5%.
According to The Economic Times, the next GST Council meet will be on 18 June to finalise the remaining issues that include taxation of lotteries and waybills, which relate to transport of goods across state lines. A committee of officials is also finalising the mechanism for the anti-profiteering law.