What is GST?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must have heard about GST. On the 1st of July 2017, the taxation system in India was changed forever. GST is basically an indirect tax levied on the sale of goods and services. GST replaced the old system of VAT(Value Added Tax). Many government officials themselves believe that the process of implementing GST was rushed along and initially had some glitches with procedures such as GST Registration and GST Return. Fast forward one year and GST has now become a part of parcel of everyday life. The government worked on the shortcomings of the law by introducing radical changes to the law throughout the year. Some of these changes include Simplified Procedure for GST Refund Claim as well Appointing office of GST Commissioner (Investigation) to prevent evasion and simplifying compliance. The 28th GST council meeting outcomes include GST reduced on household items
28th GST Council Meet: Middle-Class Rejoices
The Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley tweeted this about the GST council meeting held on 21st of July 2018.
#GSTCouncil in the 28th meeting has continued its endeavour to simplify processes, further rationalise tax rates, & enhance cooperative federalism. Today’s decisions of the Council will go a long way in pushing productivity upward.
— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) July 21, 2018
The meeting came as a wave of joy for the Middle- Class income households since it has provisions for cutting down the taxation and pricing of many products including exempting the 12% levy on sanitary napkins.
As the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was under medical treatment, the acting Finance Minister Piyush Goyal attended the meeting and stated that most of the states in the country had requested that the prices of a variety of range of products should be lowered to benefit the middle-income families in the country. The meeting also concluded with the statement that the GST council will shift its focus from revenue considerations and look into job creation as well as economic growth.
GST Reduced on Household Items
The 28th Meeting of the GST council was, therefore, a relief to the middle-class individuals since GST reduced on household items . Here are some of the outcomes of the meeting.
- Deities made out of Stone, Marble or Wood are exempt from GST.
- No taxes will be levied on rakhis without Sal leaves and Precious Stones
- Following Products have tax reduced from 28% slab to 18% slab
- Lithium-Ion batteries
- Vacuum Cleaners
- Food Grinders
- Storage Water Heaters
- Hair Dryers
- Paints and Varnishes
- Water Coolers
- Perfumes, Toilet Sprays
Read: Tax rates under GST
- GST on footwear worth Rs. 1000 or less has been cut down by 5%.
- Taxes on Handbags, Jewellery Boxes, Art ware of Glass and ornamental framed mirrors brought down to 12 %
- Ethanol tax rates have been brought down to 5% from 18%.
New tax rates came into effect from the 27th of July.
Provisions for Business Owners under GST Council’s 28th Meeting
The GST council also came with a comprehensive list of provisions for Business owners. Mr. Piyush Goyal stated that traders having a turnover of Rs 5 crore or less can file returns once a quarter even though they deposit the tax every month. Piyush Goyal also added that the Reverse charge mechanism under GST has been stalled until 30th of September 2019. The minister also implied the simplification of the return forms into two formats Sugaam and Sahaj which will be different for B2B or B2C traders and different for composite dealers.
Here we list down some provisions from the 28th GST Council meeting.
- Exemption limit stretched from 10 lakh to 20 lakhs for Traders in the states Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam.
- In order to reduce harassment of transporters, The council will help link RFID tags with the GSTN(Goods and Services Taxes Network)
- Late fee for migrating to GST will be waived till 31st August
- 46 Amendments cleared to be passed in Parliament which focus on Job creation and Growth.
- GST on accommodation services of a hotel to be based on transaction value instead of declared value.
- Supply of e-books now implicates a 5% tax instead of 18%.
In conclusion, the GST council have understood the flaws and drawbacks of GST which are harming the Middle-income groups as well as MSME traders. To that end, the government introduced the above-mentioned changes bearing a cost of up to Rs. 8,000- Rs 10000 Crores. It is a good step forward by the government to help lift the burden of taxation from the middle class and help them navigate through everyday life with peace. Thus, hearing the news of GST reduced on household items is a welcome change. It is also great to see the GST council looking at improvements in the economy and job creation sectors it will help consolidate GST even better into the system.
On August 4, The 29th meeting of the GST Council was held it focused on incentivizing digital transactions via Rupay cards and the BHIM app and conduct an analysis on the issues surrounding Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSME) sector.
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