GST Council reduces tax rates on more than 50 items

Modi govt slashes GST rate on several products: Here're details

Jaitley, and the press release, made the following argument: Before GST, sanitary napkins were effectively taxed at more than 13%, and they had been brought down to 12% under GST.

The Finance Minister informed that the Special meeting of GST council will be held on 4th of next month in Delhi and it will be focussed on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises MSME Sector.

In a boost to mobile phone manufacturing and electric vehicles, the tax rate on lithium-ion batteries was cut from 28 percent to 18 percent. "By imposing 12% GST on sanitary napkins, the government has tried to make a mockery of women", said Pooja Singh, Secretary of the NGO.

Meanwhile, hoteliers cheered as their long-standing demand to apply Goods and Services Tax (GST) on transaction value, and not declared tariff, was accepted by the GST Council on Saturday.

The reality is, this group may find it hard to spare money for sanitary napkins even after the tax exemption. The revised tax rates will come into effect from July 27.

Earlier, in the press conference the minister had said that the rates were rationalised on 100 items.

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Presently, registered persons with aggregate turnover up to Rs. 1.50 Crores are eligible to file quarterly returns under the new tax regime.

Asked about the revenue impact of the tax rate cut, Goyal said it will only be "nominal". The ones who use costly branded napkins (and who'll benefit the most from this tax exemption) are anyway less likely to stop using these only because their period-expenditure increased by 8-10 rupees.

Among other changes, small businesses with sales of up to Rs 5 crores has been allowed to file tax returns on a quarterly basis but they will have to pay GST tax monthly.

Deloitte India Partner M S Mani said it would be logical to expect that once the GST collections after the recent reductions stabilise, the remaining items such as televisions of all sizes, dishwashers, digital cameras, air conditioners could be considered for an 18 per cent rate. In its last meeting, the Council had approved the basic principles of GST return design and directed the law committee to finalise the return formats and changes in law.

Another significant decision the council made was regarding easing of return filing procedure by approving two new simplified forms called "Sugam" and "Sahaj", the minister said. Around 90 consumer items, many of them popular with urban middle-class voters, will be impacted by the tax cut.

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