The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council reduced the tax rates of as many as 33 items on Saturday. Briefing the media after the crucial meeting in New Delhi, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that "Monitors and TV screens, tyres, power banks of Lithium-ion batteries have brought down from 28% to 18% slab. Accessories for carriages for specially-abled persons were also brought down to 5%." Informing about the other tax cuts, Jaitley said that "movie tickets up to Rs 100 brought down to 12% and above Rs 100 has been brought down to 18% from 28%."
Jaitley also clarified on the issue of taxes on cement and automobile tax. These are the only two items of daily need that have remained in the luxury slab. Explaining the reason, Jaitley said, "There are 28 items left in the 28% bracket if we include luxury and sin items. 13 items are from automobile parts and 1 is cement. Cement's revenue is 13000 crore and automobile parts revenue is 20000 crore. If they are brought down from 28% to 18% implications are of 33,000 crore." Also Read | GST Council reduces rates of 33 items including TVs and computers, major relief for common man | What got cheaper, here is the full list
The new rates would come into effect from January 1st, 2019. GST On ACs has not been reduced. The Saturday's decision of GST council will impact the revenue. Jaitley has put the impact cost of Rs 5,500 crore for the current financial year.
The decision comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that his government wanted to ensure that "99 per cent items attract sub-18 per cent GST slab." PM Modi had indicated that the 28 per cent slab of GST would only be restricted to a few select items, such as luxury goods. However, West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra had blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for undermining the constitutional authority of the GST Council.
"The statement of the Prime Minister made just before the GST Council meeting undermines the constitutional authority of the GST Council as it pre-empts the decision-making authority of the council," Mitra had alleged.