Published: Mon, July 23, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

GST rate cut, return simplification to increase revenue, compliance: CII

GST rate cut, return simplification to increase revenue, compliance: CII

National Award winning Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, whose film "Pad Man" tried to create awareness on menstrual hygiene, has thanked the GST Council for making sanitary napkins Goods and Services Tax (GST) free. Jaitley, and the press release, made the following argument: Before GST, sanitary napkins were effectively taxed at more than 13%, and they had been brought down to 12% under GST. "It has also been decided that the GST Council will rise above revenue consideration and focus more on job creation and economic growth", said Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, as reported by The Indian Express.

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. "Tax rates on white goods, including small television (about 27 inch), refrigerators, washing machines, water coolers, vacuum cleaner, mixer, juicer, etc. have been reduced".

"GST Council cuts tax rate on an array of products".

Amar Tulsiyan, founder of Niine Movement, called Saturday's decision "a big win for everyone" in India, where, he said, 82 percent women and girls have no access to sanitary pads.

However, the decision to raise quarterly filing of returns from Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 5 crore annual turnover, may not actually materialise, fear tax experts.

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Mr Goyal said, simplification in tax is a government priority.

These amendments will now be placed before Parliament and the legislature of the state and Union territories for carrying out the amendments in the respective GST acts, the minister said.

Mr Goyal said, traders with turnover up to 5 crore rupees will deposit GST monthly but they have to file the returns quarterly. With the stabilisation of revenue, the rate on many items were gradually reduced. A Meerut based NGO had sent a packet of the sanitary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi protesting against the 12 per cent tax levied on the product, as reported by The Times of India.

As per NDTV reports, lawmaker Sushmita Dev had launched a petition to demand a reduction or total removal of taxes on pads, citing that about 70 per cent of women in the country could not afford them. In its last meeting, the Council had approved the basic principles of GST return design and directed the law committee to finalise the return formats and changes in law.

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