No GST on sanitary pads, rakhis; rates slashed on shoes, several appliances

Gladys Abbott
July 21, 2018

"While GST tax on sanitary pads was cut from 12 percent to zero, rakhis were exempted from the tax, " the Finance Minister said.

The GST council, headed by interim finance minister Piyush Goyal, agreed to lower the indirect tax slab on products such as paints, leather goods, bamboo flooring, stoves, televisions and washing machines from the highest rate of 28 percent to mostly 18 percent. In another women friendly measure, with the upcoming Raksha Bandhan festival coming up, rakhis were exempted from the tax, Goyal said.

The GST Council in its 28th meeting reduced rates for a host of consumer centric items like perfumes, cosmetics, refrigerators, washing machines, and small screen TVs, apart from accepting the demand for exempting sanitary napkins.

Addressing a presser, Goyal said, "After careful considerations and discussion with the state finance ministers, we (the GST Council) have made a decision to implement these changes for the welfare of the middle classes and small businesses and traders".

The value limit of footwear was enhanced from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 for 5 percent rate, Goyal informed.

Tax rate on ethanol has been slashed to 5 percent from 18 percent at present.

GST on handmade carpets and handmade textile floor coverings has been reduced from 12 percent to 5 percent.

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While hotels with tariff below Rs 1,000 are exempted from GST, those with tariff between Rs 1,000-2,500 are taxed at 12 percent, those between Rs 2,500-7,500 at 18 percent, and above Rs 7,500 at 28 percent.

This is to facilitate the ease of payment and return filing for small and medium businesses with an annual aggregate turnover up to Rs. 5 crores.

Asked about the revenue impact of the tax rate cut, Goyal said it will only be "nominal". Two new simpler return formats have also been approved.

Goyal also said that the GST council has cleared 46 amendments which will be passed in Parliament.

The most-awaited decision is on the single tax return filing system.

The next GST Council meeting will be held on August 4. The reverse charge mechanism was already on hold until September 30 this year.

This is the fourth time since the roll out of the GST that the Council, chaired by Union Finance Minister and comprising state counterparts, has rationalised rates.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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