Union govt reduces GST rates on wide range of items

New Delhi [India], July 22: Following the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council meeting in New Delhi on Saturday, Interim Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced reduced GST rates for a variety of commodities.

Addressing a presser, Goyal said, “After careful considerations and discussion with the state finance ministers, we (the GST Council) have decided to implement these changes for the welfare of the middle classes and small businesses and traders. Besides revenue collection, the GST council will now focus on job creation as well.”

Apart from a 100 per cent waiver of GST on sanitary pads, the council has decided to nullify tax on raw materials such as stone, marble and wood, used by for making handicrafts like sculptures. Also, rakhis, sal leaves, the raw materials used to make regular brooms have also been fully exempted from being charged under GST.

The GST charged for commodities such as lithium-ion batteries, vacuum cleaners, food grinders, mixers, storage water heaters, head dryers, hand dryers, paint, varnishes, water cooler, milk cooler, ice cream coolers, perfumes, toilet sprays and other toiletries has been slashed from 28 per cent to 18 per cent. The GST on handbags, jewellery box, wooden box for paintings, glass art ware, ornamental framed mirrors, handmade lamps, wax, natural gum, iron and brass products have been reduced from 18 per cent to 12 per cent.

The GST on some commodities has been slashed from 18 per cent to five per cent, including ethanol, and solid bio-fuel pellets. Goyal asserted on the importance of reducing the tax on ethanol, as not only is it used for blending with petrol and diesel, it is also vital for the sugar industry, and will thus be very beneficial for the sugarcane farmers.

Various fabrics, like Chenille fabrics, mats made via handlooms, fertilizer-grade phosphoric acid, which were earlier under the 12 per cent bracket, will be charged 5 per cent, while the GST on washing machine reduced from 28 per cent to 18 per cent.

The changes that were announced today will be implemented from July 27.