A worker holds his goods and services tax (GST) papers in his store at a wholesale market in the Old Delhi area of Delhi, India (Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)  

Jaitley Sees GST Rate Cut On Cement, ACs, TVs With Rise In Revenue

Union Minister Arun Jaitley today sounded optimistic that the goods and services rates on cement, air conditioners and televisions will be cut as tax revenues increase, and only luxury and sin goods will attract the highest slab of 28 percent.

Jaitley termed the pre-GST indirect tax regime, during which most of the household items attracted a levy of 31 percent, as “Congress Legacy Tax”, in a Facebook post.

The past one year, he said, has seen a rate reduction in 384 commodities.

“Hopefully, with further expansion of revenues, these few items may also witness a change of category. Thus, within a record period of 13 months, the GST Council has almost phased out the 28 percent category. It is only a matter of time that the final obituary of the Congress Legacy Tax is written. Only the luxury-sin tax would remain,” he said.

Referring to the services sector, he said 68 different categories of services have witnessed their rate reduction.

“The net revenue loss which the government have suffered on account of the reduction of tax on goods and services is about Rs 70,000 crore. Since state governments have been guaranteed a 14 per cent increase over their pre-GST revenues for the first five years, this burden has entirely been borne from the share of the central government,” Jaitley said.

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The tax reduction has reduced the cost to the consumers, increased his purchasing capacity and added to the increased consumption in the economy. He said taxes on all household items stand reduced from 28 percent to 18 percent and 12 percent.

“All items of construction, except cement, stands reduced. Most white goods stand reduced. There is no better opportunity for consumers to make purchases than in the environment which the GST has created,” Jaitley said.

The GST Council in its meeting last week had decided to reduce taxes on 88 items, including sanitary napkins, fridge, small screen TV, washing machine and footwear. The new tax rates comes into effect from today.

As of today, only 35 goods, including cement, automobile parts, tyres, automobile equipment, motor vehicles, yachts, aircraft, aerated drinks, betting and demerit items like tobacco, cigarette and pan masala, attract the highest GST rate of 28 percent.

Also read: GST Rate Cuts To Add Shine To India’s Consumption Story, Say Economists