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GST Council lowers tax rates for 66 items, including insulin, printers, pickles

The GST council’s meeting continued during the day ahead of the rollout of the new tax regime proposed from July 1. The next meeting is on June 18.

business Updated: Jun 12, 2017 08:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
GST,GST rates,Arun Jaitley
Union minister for finance and corporate affairs Arun Jaitley and revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia during the 16th GST Council meeting at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Sunday. (PTI)

The GST Council lowered tax rates on 66 items such as pickles, incense sticks, some movie tickets and printers after industries and states complained that the goods will become too expensive when the new indirect taxation system kicks in from July 1.

The panel, chaired by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and consisting of his counterparts from all states, had divided almost all goods and services into four tax brackets when it last met in Srinagar in May.

But a number of industries opposed the tax classification, and Jaitley said that the panel had received a request to review the levies.

“The 133 representations received were considered at length and the officers’ committee made their recommendations... the council has reduced tax in 66 out of the 133 cases,” Jaitley, who heads the council, told reporters here following the meeting, according to IANS.

Movie tickets costing Rs 100 and below will now attract 18%, against 28% proposed earlier, while those above Rs 100 will continue to attract 28% GST.

Packaged food like pickles, mustard sauce and morabba will attract 12% GST, against 18% proposed earlier. Also, tax rates on cashew nuts have been cut to 5% from 12%.

On being asked about the tax rates on sanitary napkins, the finance minister said, “What has been decided earlier remains. No further rates for this category”. Sanitary napkins have been classified under the 12% bracket.

The Council also lowered GST rates on children’s drawing books to nil from 12%. Computer printers will attract 18% tax as against 28% earlier.

The council also relaxed the Rs 50 lakh per annum turnover ceiling to Rs 75 lakh for businesses to take part in the GST Composition Scheme. The scheme allows traders, manufacturers and restaurant owners to pay taxes at the rate of 1, 2, and 5% respectively.

Jaitley added that reducing the tax rate meant a revenue impact for the government, but lower tax incidence could help improve tax buoyancy and keep inflation low.

Sunday’s meeting also saw discussions on transitional rules and decided the next meeting will be on June 18.

The GST Council fit almost all goods and services in slabs of 5, 12, 18 and 28% tax during the Srinagar meeting in May.

(with inputs from agencies)

First Published: Jun 11, 2017 16:33 IST