Finally, sanitary napkins to be exempted from GST

Modi govt slashes GST rate on several products: Here're details

On Saturday, the Goods and Services (GST) Council announced that sanitary napkins would be exempted from GST.

Sanitary napkins were taxed 12 percent tax under the one-year-old GST regime, which attracted serious criticism from various quarters. Reacting to questions raised by former finance minister P Chidambaram that why rates of 88 items were not reduced by the GST council in 2017, Modi said: "This is not a decision where only the BJP government is involved". He said, lithium-ion batteries, vacuum cleaners, food grinders, mixers, storage water heaters, hair dryers, hand dryers, paint, varnishes, water cooler, milk cooler, ice cream coolers, perfumes, toilet sprays and toilet preparation have been brought to 18 from 28 per cent slab.

Also idols made of stone, marble, wood, rakhi not embedded with stone, phool jhadu, sal leaves, too have been exempted.

Saturday's (Jul 21) announcement is part of a slew of changes to the national goods and services tax (GST) meant to reduce the prices of around 90 key consumer goods, many of which target urban middle classes ahead of next year's general election.

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Goyal said mandatory registration is required for only those e-commerce operators who are required to collect tax at source. He said, 100 items will be impacted by today's decision.

"The simplification of returns and allowing traders below Rs 5 crore turnover to file quarterly returns will positively lower compliance burden". To counteract this double taxation, the government refunds the entire tax paid on the input - meaning the raw materials - as long as the producer has paid the output tax. They launched the viral campaign #lahukalagaan (tax on blood), which had the support of comedians like Kaneez Surka, Mallika Dua and actor Aditi Rao Hydari. The ones who use costly branded napkins (and who'll benefit the most from this tax exemption) are anyway less likely to stop using these only because their period-expenditure increased by 8-10 rupees. Those yet to register under GST will be given extension till August 31 without late penalty.

Goyal also noted that apart from revenue collection, the GST Council will now focus on job creation as well. Around 90 consumer items, many of them popular with urban middle-class voters, will be impacted by the tax cut.

The GST Council will next hold a meeting on August 4, exclusively catering to the needs of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector.

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