In the 28th GST (Goods and Service Tax) Council meeting on Saturday, various revisions were made on tax rates to benefit consumers, traders and small taxpayers. The agenda of the meeting included 46 proposed amendments to the GST law there were to be discussed by the council.
The panel of finance ministers have discussed reducing GST rates on several items, the most significant ones being:
List of items exempt from GST:
- Sanitary pads.
- Saal leaves.
- Raw material used in brooms.
- Raakhis, without any precious metals.
- Commemorative coins circulated by the RBI or government.
- Deities made of stone, marbles or wood.
Items reduced from existing 12 percent tax slab to 5 percent:
- Handloom dari
- Fertiliser grade phosphoric acid
Items reduced from existing 28 percent tax slab to 18 percent:
- Lithium-ion batteries
- Television (up to 27 inches only)
- Vaccum cleaners
- Food grinders, mixers
- Shavers, hair clippers
- Storage water heaters
- Electric smoothing irons
- Water cooler
- Ice cream freezer
- Hand dryes
GST on ethanol which are sold to oil companies for blending with petrol and diesel is currently reduced to 5 percent from the earlier rate of 18 percent.
Apart from this, it also focussed on simplified filings and accordingly from now on the taxpayers with turnover up to Rs 5 crore will now find it easier to file returns. While they will continue to pay GST monthly, they will only file returns once a quarter.
93 percent of taxpayers will file GST returns quarterly, Piyush Goyal said in a statement.
- Threshold for composition dealers to be increased to Rs 1.5 crore from Rs 1 crore earlier.
- Taxpayers who also provide services of up to 10 percent of their turnover can now avail the composition scheme.
- Reverse charge mechanism to be deferred for one year.
Taxpayers who are yet to register under the new GST will be given a final extension till August 31 and any late penalty would be waived off.
The inclusion of natural gas and aviation turbine fuel under the GST regime was not taken up for discussion in the meeting. It was not present in the agenda of Saturday's meeting.
The GST Council was chaired by Piyush Goyal, the minister of railways, who is also handling the charge of finance ministry at the present due to the absence of finance minister Arun Jaitley, who recently went through a kidney transplant surgery.
Next GST Council Meeting
The next GST council meet is scheduled to be held on August 4, to discuss the problems faced by the small traders, businesses, and entrepreneurship in the country. The meeting is set to completely focus on the MSME sector.