GST Council revises tax rates on 66 items

Jaitley said the rates decided so far "are broadly final", but the council will be open to considering any new issue that may come to its notice. Their recommendations were taken up by the council on Sunday.

On June 11, the GST council lowered tax rates for 66 items.

Jaitley said there were two objectives behind lowering the threshold. Veteran actor Kamal Haasan had said he will have to quit films if the tax rate for regional films is not reduced to 12-18%.

Kitchen use items like pickles, mustard sauce and morabba will attract 12 percent GST, as against 18 percent proposed earlier. At the same time, the proposed rate of GST on computer printers has also reduced from 28 per cent to 18 per cent.

Insulin, schoolbags, colouring books and construction items are among the 66 items on which the Goods and Service Tax levy has been lowered.

The council had fixed 43 per cent tax (28 per cent GST plus 15 per cent cess) on hybrid cars, a rate that industry felt was too high for the fuel efficient vehicles.

Textile industry requested the GST Council to reconsider this on an urgent basis and bring it under the 5 per cent slab.

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In a relief to SMEs, the Council also increased the threshold of turnover for businesses which can opt for composition scheme to Rs 75 lakh, from Rs 50 lakh proposed earlier.

The Council in its next meeting on June 18 would discuss the threshold limit for traders in special category states. They urged the FM to take up these issues at a GSTN council meeting.

GST is touted as the single largest tax reform since India's independence in 1947.

Ahead of GST on July 1 all taxes on automobiles will be removed. "We will try to ease out any hassles", Adhia told reporters here after meeting heads of public sector banks.

He said that there is no harm in postponement of the GST "by one month or so". "As the roll out date nears, based on the feedback received from various stakeholders, we are most concerned about IT readiness in view of the technical glitches that are being reported". They do not have any option. "The fact that is being presented (by the industry), according to the paper, is not correct". The business worth Rs 20 lakh per year is fully exempt under GST, whereas traders doing business up to Rs 75 lakh will enjoy benefits of the composition scheme. Its a people-centric decision, will benefit the common people. The biggest win is for SMEs today.

He said major development in the job area which is very significant will make India competitive. "By stimulating SMEs, which are labour intensive, taxes will go up, impact on GDP will go up and if implemented in appropriate manner, it can lead to greater revenues", he said.

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