Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (ANI)
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (ANI)

GST Council Meet highlights: Cuts rates on various items

  • The revised GST rates would become effective from 1 October
  • The key sectors which would benefit from GST rate cuts are hotels, gems & jewellery, defence and automobiles.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced the reduction of GST rates on a slew of items. All rate changes would be effective from 1 October

Higlights:

  • A uniform GST rate of 12 % will be levied on woven/non-woven polyethylene bags
  • GST council cuts tax rates on job work in diamond industry to 1.5% from 5%
  • In a major boost to gems and jewellery sector, the Council recommended to reduce GST on cut and polished semi-precious items to 0.25 per cent from 3 per cent now
  • GST Council cuts tax on hotel room tariffs of 1,000 to 7,500/night to 12%; those above 7,500 to 18%
  • The GST on caffeinated beverages has been hiked to 28% plus additional cess of 12% as against the current rate of 18 per cent.
  • GST council cuts tax rates for outdoor catering to 5% from 18%
  • GST Council recommends lower 12% cess on 1,500 cc diesel, 1,200 cc petrol vehicles with capacity to carry up to 13 people
  • A uniform GST rate of 12% will be levied on woven/non-woven polyethylene bags
  • Uniform GST rate of 12% to be levied on polypropylene bags and sacks used for packing of goods
  • the Council has reduced rates for cups and plates made from leaves and hides to nil.
  • The tax on almond milk has been set at 18%
  • GST rate hiked on railway wagon, coaches from 5% to 12%
  • Exemption from GST/IGST is being given on import of specified defence goods not being manufactured indigenously, it's being extended only up to 2024
  • Supply of goods & services to FIFA & other specified persons also exempted for U17 Women's World Cup in India
  • GST rate on slide fasteners has been reduced from 18% to 12%,
  • Marine fuel from 18% to 5%
  • 12% to 5% on wet grinders consisting of stone as a grinder,
  • 5% to nil on dried tamarind.

The GST Council on Friday cut tax rate on hotel room tariffs, a move aimed at giving a boost to the hospitality sector.

The GST (goods and services tax) rate on hotel rooms with tariffs of up to 7,500 per night has been cut to 12%from the existing 18%, officials attending the GST Council meet here said.

Similarly, the tax on room tariff of above 7,500 has been slashed to 18% from the existing 28%.

There will be no GST on room tariffs of below 1,000 per night.

Commenting on the decision, Sanjay Sethi, CEO, Chalet Hotels said the reduction would give a major fillip to the hospitality and tourism industry and make hotels more competitive globally.

"For companies like Chalet, reduced taxation helps us focus our efforts on key aspects like fresh investments in portfolio expansion, job creation and creating sustainable green hotels," he said.

With most engines of growth stuttering and GDP declining to six-year low of 5% in the April-June quarter, pressure has been mounting on the government to revive the economy. Some external factors like US-China trade war has added to the woes.

In the wake of domestic and external headwinds, the Reserve Bank of India recently lowered its GDP forecast and pegged it at 6.9 per cent in 2019-20. Several rating agencies and research firms expect the growth to be in the range of 6.5-7 per cent.

The poor show in the first quarter of the current fiscal has prompted the Modi government to take measures to boost growth and lift business sentiment. Starting August 23, Finance Minister Sitharaman has announced four set of measures to put economy on fast track.

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