Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal to chair GST Council meet today

GST rates slashed on 50 items

Sanitary napkins have been exempted from the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Maharashtra finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said on Saturday after a meeting of the GST Council.

Fortified milk has also been fully exempted from GST.

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Apart from a 100 per cent waiver of GST on sanitary pads, the council has chose to nullify tax on raw materials such as stone, marble and wood, used by for making handicrafts like sculptures.

"There will be minimal impact of these decisions on revenue collections". The government is likely to implement it by the end of this year.Also in the pipeline is reduction of GST on 30 odd items including sanitary napkins, handlooms and handicrafts, among others. The proposed amendments to the goods and services tax (GST)-related laws, simplification of GST returns, the creation of GST appellate tribunal and the revenue position of states were among the key items slated for discussion in the 28th GST Council meeting.

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► GST on 17 items used by middle class viz paints, refrigerators, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, storage water heaters, TVs up to 68 cm, mixer grinder, perfumes, cosmetics, shavers, vacuum was reduced from 28 to 18%.

The council also approved the proposal to allow quarterly return filing for taxpayers with a turnover of upto Rs 5 crore, a move that will benefit almost 93 percent of tax assessees as they would now be required to file returns only once in three months. The Council will discuss further on what further benefits could be given to them, he said. However, the receiver of the good/service is eligible for input tax credit, while the unregistered dealer is not.

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Registered taxpayers (suppliers) were not willing to take the burden of paying tax, while small or unregistered taxpayers were running out of business as these registered dealers were hesitant to buy goods from them. "Glad that finally GST Council has made this happen". Besides exempting a number of items from the GST, the council also brought several other items to lower slabs. He will not have to file any more returns.

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