The GST charged for commodities such as lithium-ion batteries, vacuum cleaners, food grinders, mixers, storage water heaters, head dryers, hand dryers, paint, varnishes, water cooler, milk cooler, ice cream coolers, perfumes, toilet sprays and other toiletries has been slashed from 28 per cent to 18 per cent.
And yes, women, far from resenting, are cheering lustily at the abolition of GST on sanitary pads from the extant 12 percent.
Footwear costing up to Rs 1,000 will now attract a five percent GST.
Despite the praise, some are even arguing that the prices of sanitary napkins will actually go up after this move since local manufacturers, who have to pay input taxes but do not get any input credit, will increase their prices. Also, rakhis, sal leaves, the raw materials used to make regular brooms have also been fully exempted from being charged under GST.
"I am sure all mothers and sisters will be very happy to hear that sanitary pads are now 100 per cent exempt from tax", Finance Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters at a news conference in New Delhi, as reported by NDTV.
Earlier, the council had revised tax rates on 29 items in January.
"Today's meeting has taken a number of decisions unanimously".
Asked about the revenue impact of the tax rate cut, Goyal said it will only be "nominal".
The decision could result in a revenue loss that's as high as 1% of tax budgeted to accrue to the federal government, according to officials who didn't wish to be identified as they aren't authorised to speak to the media. The rate reductions is estimated to cost government exchequer almost Rs 7,000 crore.
GST at the rate of 28 per cent in levied if hotel room rent exceeds Rs 7,500. They demanded the withdrawal of the 12 per cent GST on the pads.
Sanitary pads, which were initially taxed at 18 per cent, were brought down to 12 per cent under GST that was launched in July 2017. It would be ideal if only demerit goods are retained in the 28% slab.
Council has also approved simpler returns filing process. The RCM, which was already on hold till September 2018, is considered as an anti-evasion tool. "GST council has cleared 46 amendments, which will be passed in Parliament, " Goyal said.
The leitmotif of the successive GST Council meetings ever since the February 2018 meeting, in the run-up to the Gujarat elections, has been putting more money into the purses of housewives.
A Committee led by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi will look into ways to promote digital payments using these modes. Also a chance will be given till August 31 for businesses to migrate to the GST regime and late fee would be waived, Goyal said.
This will reduce harassment of transporters, he said.
Union minister Smriti Irani lauded the council for exempting sanitary napkin from the GST.
It was meant to unify India's economy into a single market, with four tax rates of 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent.