Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, GST Council Meet

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addresses media after 31st Goods and Services Tax Council meeting. (Photo: PTI)

The Goods and Services Tax Council on Wednesday slashed tax rates for 23 commonly used items that have been reduced from 18 per cent to 12 and 5 per cent respectively, said Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy.

The fresh rate rationalisation is the government’s attempt to streamline GST and make it more people-friendly. Many items including television, computers and auto parts will be cheaper now.

GST Council Announcements – As It Happened:

6:46 pm: It seems that the movie industry is extremely happy with today’s decision to reduce GST on cinema tickets.

Commenting on the move, Prasoon Joshi, said, “It is a significant decision after the fruitful interaction of industry representatives with PM. It was reassuring that PM addressed important issues and challenges faced by the industry&took prompt action.

6:30 pm: Actor Anupam Kher welcomes slashed GST rates on movie tickets.

“This is a historic day for Indian film industry that GST rates have been cut down from 18% to 12%. The credit for this move goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Films not only entertain but also boost tourism,” he said.

6:06 pm: Despite today’s reduction, many citizens do not seem happy about the GST Council’s stance on reducing tax slab for medical insurance. At present, a GST of 18 per cent is levied on medical insurance. However, many individuals on Twitter urged the government to move medical insurance below 18 per cent slab.

5:55 pm: The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) welcomed GST Council’s move to revise rates of cinema tickets to 12 per cent and 18 per cent for tickets below INR 100 and over 100 respectively.

Commenting on the development, FICCI Assistant Secretary General Leena Jaisani said, “The move will help boost the industry and bring back the audience to theatres.”

5:51 pm: The GST Council has extended the due date for filing annual GST returns and GST audit to June 30, 2019. Today’s announcement came as a huge relief to small scale traders who have been urging the government for an extension.

5:38 pm: Realty remains a concern for stakeholders. While Jaitley said concerns regarding the real estate sector will be addressed in the next meeting, it has left many stakeholders dissatisfied. Many finance ministers said earlier that there needs to be a consensus on GST towards Real Estate.


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