Consumer durable makers today welcomed the government's move to bring - AC, washing machine, refrigerators - in lower GST slab, saying that it will act as a catalyst for the industry. The move will also help the domestic manufacturing, and help in creating more employment opportunities, said Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association. The industry was demanding a lower GST rate on white goods since July last year, when GST was implemented. "This is a welcome move by the government which has come at an impending time, when we are just about to prepare ourselves for the upcoming festive season," said CEAMA President Manish Sharma. The GST Council in its meeting held today has decided to reduce tax rates on several general-used items like TV (below 26 inch), washing machines and refrigerators from 28 to 18 per cent. According to the industry body, reduction in duty on TV sets up to 26 inch will create more demand from the rural areas. "The reduction of GST slab on television sets of up to 26 inches from 28 per cent to 18 per cent will certainly improve the products penetration and affordability in smaller towns across the country," said Sharma. Home appliances and electronic good maker Haier has also welcomed the move and said that its a boost for the industry. "This should be a good boost to the industry. This would stoke the demand. Hopefully we would see good growth in the Washing Machine for the rest of the year and good business in the AC next year," Haier India president Eric Braganza told PTI. However, he also added that government should have extended this benefit to all sizes of TV panels. Sharma who is also president and CEO Panasonic India and South Asia said: "However, in order to improve the gamut of its usage even further, we had hoped for TV sets of at least up to 43 inches to be taxed under the 18% tax slab".