GST Council Cuts Rates: TV, Fridge & Washing Machines To Get Cheaper


New Delhi:   The GST Council on Saturday cut tax rates on several general-use items such as TV, washing machine and refrigerators. Not just that, conceding to a year-long demand, the Council has now put sanitary napkins under the exempted category. The new rates would come into effect from July 27. The rate reductions is estimated to cost the government exchequer nearly Rs 7,000 crore.

The highest tax bracket of 28 percent has been rationalised further with rates on daily-use items like perfumes, cosmetics, toiletries, hair dryers, shavers, mixer grinder, vacuum cleaners, lithium ion batteries, being lowered to 18 percent. The revised tax rates will come into effect from 27 July, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal told media after the 28th meeting of the GST Council.

“Refrigerators, small televisions, of up to 25 inches, lithium ion batteries, vacuum cleaners, domestic electrical appliances, such as food grinders, mixers….storage water heaters, immersion heaters, hair dryers, hand driers, electric smoothing irons, among others have been brought to the 18 percent slab,” Goyal said.

Footwear costing up to Rs 1,000 will now attract 5 percent GST. So far, footwear up to Rs 500 attracted 5 percent GST, and those having retail sale price of over Rs 500 attracted 18 percent rate.

Tax rate on ethanol has been slashed to 5 percent from 18 percent at present. Besides, tax rates on worked up Kota stone, sand stone and similar quality of local stones were cut from 18 to 12per cent, with the purpose of avoiding classification disputes.

Among other tax-reduction decisions, Goyal said, tax rate on handicraft items such as handbags, pouches and purses, jewellery box, wooden frames of paintings and photographs among others have been brought under the 12 percent slab, from 18 percent.

GST on handmade carpets and handmade textile floor coverings has been reduced from 12 percent to 5 percent. The tax rate on supply of e-books has been cut to 5 percent from 18 percent.