Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has informed the country that 6 items are no longer a part of the 28 percent tax bracket. Furthermore, he stated that the services supplied by the banks to Jan-Dhan account holders will also be exempted from GST.
Rajeev Talwar, president, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry said consistent indirect tax revenue growth along with reduction in high GST rates indicate that tax base is widening and economic activity is expanding.
Jaitley also announced that the Council took 16 policy decisions were taken in order to simplify processes like return filing and claim filing.
The council rationalised the 28 percent slab by bringing down the tax rate on seven items in the highest tax bracket, thereby leaving only 28 items in the slab.
Also air travel of pilgrims by non-scheduled/charter operations, for religious pilgrimage facilitated by the Government of India under bilateral arrangements will attract the same rate of GST as applicable to similar flights in economy class ( 5 per cent with ITC of input services).
GST rate on cinema tickets above Rs. 100 shall be reduced from 28% to 18% and on cinema tickets upto Rs. 100 from 18% to 12%.
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GST on movie tickets costing up to Rs 100 was cut to 12 per cent, from 18 per cent, tickets over Rs 100 will attract 18 per cent GST, against 28 per cent earlier. Currently, these products are under the 28% tax slab and it is an expectation that they might come under the 18% slab. "After the meeting, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said that "(Many) items have come down from 18% to 12% and 5% as they are common man's consumption goods".
"There is a consensus that something needs to be done on this", he added.
The government has budgeted to contain fiscal deficit at 3.3 per cent of the GDP in the current fiscal, lower than 3.5 per cent in 2017-18.
The 31st GST Council meeting has reportedly approved a proposal to form a 7-Member Group of Ministers to study the revenue trend, including analysing the reasons for structural patterns affecting the revenue collection in some of the states.
The GST council, headed by India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, agreed to lower the tax on some goods including televisions, batteries and movie tickets.
The recent defeat of the BJP in three states has altered the composition of the Council, and the central ruling party will not be able to push its agenda unless a few regional parties back it.