GST Council reduces rates on 66 items

Tax rates on certain kitchen items like pickles and mustard sauce, as well as movie tickets costing up to Rs 100 have been lowered as the Centre and states today reduced levies on 66 items.

Jaitley said there were two objectives behind lowering the threshold.

However, sources in the Finance Ministry said there could be a further scope for change in rates only if there has been any error in calculating the weighted average taxation of a particular good or service.

"In terms of rates, the GST Council has reduced the rates for 66 items".

Similarly, ketchup and sauces will attract 12%, against the 18% fixed earlier and coir mats and floor covers will attract 5% compared to 12% earlier. That's 12.7 per cent more than the current level of effective tax rate of 30.3 per cent.

Movie tickets - GST rate for movie tickets below Rs 100 reduced from 28 percent to 18 percent. The earlier rate, as per the schedule drawn up by the Council at its Srinagar meeting on 18-19 May, was 5%.

GST rates for tractor components were lowered to 18% from the highest 28% following which Mahindra & Mahindra said, "It is good news that you take out any pain points that are there in the transitioning since tractors were always at 18%".

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"These are items where job workers typically take the work home". Last Saturday, it finalised rates for a few contentious goods such as gold and jewellery, agricultural implements, biscuits, footwear and textiles.

Jaitley said that reducing the tax rate entailed a revenue impact for the government, but lower tax incidence could help improve tax buoyancy and keep inflation low.

After chairing the 16th meeting of the GST Council, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the council has chose to reduce tax rates of 66 items. "So my submission was, let us not do jugaad for something which is world's largest fiscal reform", he said, adding that its rollout should be "postponed by one month or so".

FM Arun Jaitley today announced that the 17th meeting of the GST will be held on June 18.

"While telecom is an essential service, it does not receive the benefits of that category.we seek your intervention that the government consider lowering the GST for telecom to be the same as that of essential services that is five per cent", Mr Mathews said in the letter dated June 7. And, if necessary, it will come up for discussion. "You require honest intent for that", he told reporters when asked about some industry representatives seeking more time for the roll-out. "The 133 representations received were considered at length and the officers' committee made their recommendations. the Council has reduced tax in 66 out of the 133 cases", said Jaitley, who heads the Council.

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