GST Council Meet highlights: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council met yesterday for the 28th time to discuss some crucial changes in the new indirect tax regime, for the first time in its second year. Several prolonged decisions such as simplification of returns filing and tax on sanitary napkins were finally taken in the meeting.
The GST Council is a constitutional body, comprised of Union Finance Minister and is state counterparts, responsible for making decisions related to the GST regime. Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal had chaired the meeting, his first, as Arun Jaitley is recovering from the surgery performed in May. The 28th GST Council meeting also saw cuts on items such as shoes, small handicraft items, rakhi among others. Interim finance minister Piyush Goyal said that the new rates will be applicable from July 27. We take a look at 11 key decisions in a nutshell.
GST Council Meet highlights: Key decisions in a nutshell
- The council has approved quarterly returns for enterprises with turnover less than Rs 5 crore. It is to be noted that the tax payments will continue on a monthly basis.
- In a major step, Sanitary Napkins exempted from GST going forward. Earlier, there was a 12% levy on the same.
- No decision has been taken pertaining sugar cess. However, a report has been submitted for further perusal.
- Ethanol for Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) will now be taxed at 5% as opposed to 18% previously.
- Rate on bamboo flooring has been reduced to 12%.
- GST on consumer electronics – TV (up to 68 cms), Washing Machine, Refrigerator, mixer, juicer, grinder has been slashed from 28% to 18%.
- 5% GST ceiling on footwear raised from Rs 500 to Rs 1000.
- GST on all leather items cut from 28% to 18%.
- Exemption limit for traders in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Himalaya, Sikkim, increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.
- In case of services, major relief was provided on categories including agriculture, farming and food processing industry; education, training and skill development and pension, social security and old age support.
- The exempt services include services by way of artificial insemination of livestock (other than horses), warehousing of minor forest produce, works of installation and commissioning undertaken by DISCOMS/ electricity distribution companies for extending electricity distribution network for agricultural use, among others.