- GST council cut taxes on 66 items
- Revised tax rates applicable from July 1
- School bags, cutlery, computer printers, CCTV cameras set to get cheaper
"A total of 133 representations were made to lower taxes for different categories of goods and commodities. The council has lowered the tax rates for 66 items," Mr Jaitley told the media after the 16th meeting of the GST council that includes all the state finance ministers.
Following the revised tax rates that will be applicable from July 1 this year, packaged food items like pickles, ketchup, toppings, instant food mixes will all be cheaper as GST on these items have been reduced to 12 per cent from earlier 18 per cent.
People with diabetes also have something to cheer as insulin will be cheaper. Earlier, it was put in the 12 per cent slab but now it has been brought down to 5 per cent.
While school bags will be cheaper as GST has been slashed from 28 per cent to 18 per cent, young children can have fun with colours as drawing book are now tax exempt from an earlier 12 per cent.
Cutlery will cost less - with the tax reduced from 18 to 12 per cent - and so will computer printers and CCTV cameras. These items that attracted 28 per cent GST will now be at the 18 slab.
The issue of entertainment tax that has been flagged by superstars like Kamal Hassan was also taken up and a compromise formula arrived at.
"As you know, entertainment tax currently is imposed by state governments. And the range is from 20 per cent to 110 per cent. The weighted average comes to about 30 per cent. But state governments also give exemptions to film in their own language," said Mr Jaitley and added, "So we have now made two categories for entertainment tax."
A film whose tickets are priced above Rs 100 will attract 28 per cent while those film with tickets priced at Rs 100 or below would be in the 18 per cent slab.
Small scale manufacturers and traders are also big gainers. Those whose annual turnover was less than 20 lakhs won't have to pay any tax.
Entrepreneurs whose turnover is between Rs 20 and Rs 75 lakhs, will have to pay nominal taxes under the composition scheme.
"Under the composition scheme, if trader you have to pay 1 per cent tax. Manufacturer will have to pay 2 per cent and restaurant owners 5 per cent," said West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra and added, "These are people centric measures."