Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday announced that GST rates on six out of 34 items have been slashed from the top 28 per cent slab.
After the 31st Goods Services Tax (GST) Council meeting in the national capital, Jaitley said rationalisation is an ongoing process. “28 per cent bracket is gradually moving to sunset… The next target will be rate rationalisation in cement as and when affordability improves,” he said.
Among the items that have been brought down from the 28 per cent slab to 18 per cent include monitors and television screens up to 32 inches, re-treading tyres, power banks of Lithium-ion batteries, pulleys, transmission shafts and cranks, gearboxes, digital cameras and video camera recorders, video game consoles and other games and sports requisites. However, GST rates have not been reduced on cement and automobile parts.
GST rate on third party insurance premium of goods carrying vehicles have been reduced from 18 per cent to 12 per cent. Services supplied by banks to Basic Saving Bank Deposit (BSBD) account holders under PradhanMantri Jan DhanYojana (PMJDY) have been exempted.
Jaitley said GST rates on movie tickets costing up to Rs 100 have been slashed to 12 per cent from 18 per cent while tickets over Rs 100 will attract 18 per cent GST as against 28 per cent earlier.
New GST return filing system will come into effect from July 1, 2019, said Jaitley. Overall, the GST Council has cut the rates on 23 goods and services and it will have a revenue impact of Rs 5,500 crore, he added. The Council has agreed to set up a Centralised Advance Ruling Authority.
No premium tax on special flights for religious pilgrimages will be levied. Air travel for religious pilgrimages by non-scheduled/chartered operations under bilateral arrangements will attract the same rate of GST as applicable to Economy class, which is 5 per cent with ITC of input services.
Solar power plants and other renewable energy items, accessories for carriages for specially abled persons have been brought down to 5 per cent. Items like natural cork, walking stick and fly ash block have also been brought down to 5 per cent from 12 per cent.
The latest development comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government will ensure that only 0.5 or 1 per cent of the total 1,200-odd items under GST remains in the peak 28 per cent slab. This will essentially comprise luxury items such as big cars, aircraft and demerit goods such as cigarettes.