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,
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.