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GST Council cuts rates for 66 items

12 June 2017

The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday addressed media after meeting of Goods and Services Tax (GST) council.

The Council, which made a decision to raise the ceiling of the composition scheme, a presumptive tax payment system to ease compliance burden for small businesses and restaurants, from Rs50 lakh to Rs75 lakh annual turnover, is yet to decide whether this revised ceiling is applicable to special category states such as north eastern and other hill states.

SIMA appealed for classifying all textile job works under 5 per cent GST rate to enable the job workers to take the input tax credit (ITC) on other inputs.

Rates on a range of specific items including plastic tarpaulin, school bags, printers, tractor components and concrete pipes would be cut by 10 percentage points, from 28% to 18%, with the same reduction for cinema tickets costing less than 100 rupees. "If necessary, it will come up for discussion", Jaitley said.

He said under the new tax regime, the commodities used by the poorest section of the society will be considered at the lowest rate while the food grains and vegetables will be tax free.

For workers in industries like textiles and diamond processing where the workers take their work home, tax rate will be revised to 5 percent from the 18 percent now being charged.

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Packaged food like pickles, mustard sauce and morabba will attract 12% GST, against 18% proposed earlier.

"Irrespective of the date at which is to start, some people will say we are not ready". Charge rate on kajal has been brought down to 18 percent from 28 percent.

Pratik Jain, Partner and Leader Indirect Tax, PwC, said: "Increasing the composition scheme limit to Rs 75 lakh from Rs 50 lakh will provide relief to many more small businesses, though service providers (except restaurants) continue to remain outside the ambit of composition levy".

He further said globally, hybrids are supported by governments considering their environment-friendly properties due to lesser emission and higher fuel efficiency.

To a query on suggestions/feedback received from trade and industry, Meghwal said the common concern among representations was related to SSI sector coming under GST net.

The most noticeable change was in the entertainment tax which is taxed by states and has a weighted average tax of 30% that has now been bifurcated into two slabs - Below Rs 100 movie ticket will cost a tax of 18% and above Rs 100 will have 28% tax. Entrepreneurs whose turnover is between Rs. 20 - Rs. 75 lakkh will need to pay a anominal tax under composition scheme.