Ahead of Lok Sabha elections, the 31st Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council meeting today given a big relief to common man by reducing rates of 33 items from 18 per cent to 12 per cent and 5 per cent. Besides, seven items have been moved from the 28 per cent slab to 18 per cent.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who chaired the meeting, later told newsmen that ,”28% slab rate is only applicable on 34 items now. Tyres, Power banks of Lithium-ion batteries have brought down from 28% to 18% slab. Accessories for carriages for specially abled persons have been brought down to 5%.”
“Movie tickets up to Rs 100 brought down to 12% and above Rs 100 has been brought down to 18% from 28%,” Jaitley added. Furthermore, he stated that the services supplied by the banks to Jan-Dhan account holders will also be exempted from GST. The new tax rates will be effective from 1st January 2019.
Producers Guild of India has hailed the decision of government to reduce GST on cinema tickets as a “progressive step” which will help the industry “move forward positively.” According to a statement, the Guild is happy with the reduction of GST on film tickets, exceeding Rs 100 to 18 percent from 28 percent and up to Rs 100 to 12 percent from 18 percent.
Ahead of the meeting, Haryana Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu had said attempts to integrate tax rates has been the goal of the GST Council.
“Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) also wants that rates of GST be around 18 per cent. It is good if bare minimum products are kept in the 28 per cent slab, keeping in mind the scope of the GST. GST council and all the representatives of the country and the state will decide in the interest of the country rising above politics,” he added.
Meanwhile, Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said a proposal has been put forth regarding reducing works contracts service tax to its lower limit.