In its 28th meeting, the GST Council gave its approval to slash tax rates on over 100 items that were in the highest 28 per cent tax bracket under the Goods and Services Tax. GST rates on articles including consumer durables like smaller television sets, refrigerators, washing machines, paints and varnishes, lithium ion batteries, and more were brought down from 28 per cent to 18 per cent. The tax council also rationalised rates on several other items too.
The GST Council also exempted sanitary napkins from taxes under the GST regime. The Council also approved Nandan Nilekani's recommendations for simplifying GST return procedure with minor tweaks. Now, traders with annual turnover less up to Rs 5 crore will have to file their returns every quarter, whereas those above the threshold will have to file returns every month. The taxes incurred under GST will have to be paid every month, though. Two simplified forms - Sugam and Sahaj - were also approved by the GST Council for B2C and B2B taxpayers for easier return filing.
The most-talked about decision, though, was the tax rate cuts passed by the GST Council. The changes will come into effect from July 27. These rate cuts are expected to cost Rs 7,000 crore to exchequer.
Below is the complete list of items with rationalised GST rates:
28% to 18%
28% to 12%
18%/12%/5% to Nil
12% to 5%
18% to 12%
18% to 5%
GST rates have been recommended to be brought down for specified handicraft items (as per the definition of handicraft, as approved by the GST council) from:18% to 12%
12% to 5%