31st GST Council meeting

31st GST Council Review Meet Ends; Finance Ministry Reduces Tax on 33 Items, New Rates to be Effective From January 1

India cuts tax rates on some goods after election loss

Cement's revenue is Rs 13,000 crore and automobile parts revenue is Rs 20,000 crore. So we had only transiently put them at 28 per cent, because if we had immediately brought it down then the revenue impact would have been there and therefore the social expenditure of central and state governments would have suffered.

However, the GST Council in its meeting on Saturday chose to take out 6 items from this list. "There was a total consensus that something needs to be done", he said.

These items now attract 28 per cent rate.

Second-hand tyres, video games, monitors and television screens up to 32 inches, and lithium battery power banks will now attract 18 per cent GST.

"Movie tickets up to Rs 100 brought down to 12% and above Rs 100 has been brought down to 18% from 28%", Jaitley added.

Addressing reporters, after the meet at Vigyan Bhawan, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said,"28% slab rate is only applicable on 34 items now".

Mr Jaitley also said, the services supplied by the banks to Jan-Dhan account holders will be exempted from GST.

"The GST council has followed a pragmatic policy by bringing down the rates gradually, taking into consideration the revenue realisation and affordability, and this will stabilise and strengthen GST further", a Ficci statement quoted Somany as saying. He said, the annual revenue implication of the rate cuts will be 5 thousand 500 crore rupees.

The GST Council has been constituted under Article 279A of the Constitution and it can alone which has been constitutionally empowered to decide on the GST rate for goods and services, Mitra had said.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said his government is moving to simplify the Goods and Services Tax system to a point where more than 99% items come under a tax slab of 18% or lower. It was a Christmas bonanza to the common man as well.

"Recognising cement as a general public consumer product by the FM and reviewing it again in next meeting is keeping hopes alive". That could mean cement, marble, air conditioners, dishwashers and other items becoming cheaper.

He said the Council will also consider a composition scheme for small suppliers, a calamity cess and tax rates on the lottery.

The decision to slash the rates of movie tickets was welcome by film personalities.

GST rate on cinema tickets above Rs. 100 shall be reduced from 28% to 18% and on cinema tickets upto Rs. 100 from 18% to 12%. These tickets will now be under 18% slab.

Meanwhile, a group of seven ministers will be constituted to look into revenue loss to states and structural problems of GST.

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