Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said that six items have been removed from the 28 per cent tax bracket under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. Earlier there were 34 items in the 28 per cent tax bracket which included luxury and ‘sin goods’ till now. However, the GST Council in its meeting today has decided to take out 6 items from this list. Today’s GST rate reduction will have an overall impact on revenue of Rs 5500 crore, saidJaitley.

* GST rate on special flights for pilgrims lowered for eonomy at 5 percent and business class at 12 percent.

* Air conditioners, dishwashers largely used by upper segment of society, left at 28%.

* GST for cinema tickets less than Rs 100 reduced from 18% to 12%, for tickets above than Rs 100, GST reduced from 28% to 18%.

* The council rationalised the 28 per cent slab by bringing down the tax rate on seven items in the highest tax bracket, thereby leaving only 28 items in the slab.

* Power bank of Lithium ion batteries, video games, small sport related items, accessories for carriages for disabled removed from 28% slab.

* 13 items of automobile parts, 8 items of cement industry will remain under the 28 per cent.

* 6 items have been moved from 28 per cent slab.

* Third party insurance has been brought down to 12 per cent.

* IIM courses and Bank charges (savings bank, Jan Dhan Yojana ) has been exempted.

* New return filing system will be started on trial basis from April 1, to be implemented mandatorily by July 1. Due date for GST Annual Return and Audit Report extended till 30th June 2019.

There were around 226 goods in the 28 per cent category when Goods and Services Tax (GST) was implemented on July 1, 2017.

Cement rate reduction has not been taken up as it has huge revenue implications, said Thomas Isaac, finance minister, Kerala.

On December 18, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the government is aiming to bring 99 per cent of items below the 18 per cent GST slab and warned of stringent action against defaulters of bank loan and fugitives.

His announcement, however, was not very well- received with West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra saying, “The statement made by the Prime Minister on December 18 just before the GST Council meeting on December 22 undermines the constitutional authority of GST Council as it pre-empts the decision making authority of the Council.

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CA. Bharat Poplani