GST council slashes tax on TVs, cinema tickets; leaves cement untouched

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council today brought down prices of goods such as TV sets, cinema tickets and video games from the top 28 percent rate, which now only be levied at only 28 items like air conditioners, cement, and sin items such as pan masala, aerated drinks and tobacco products.

Announcing the decision after the GST Council meeting, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said that monitors and TV screens, tyres, power banks (of lithium-ion batteries) have brought down from 28% to 18% slab, while accessories for carriages for specially abled persons have been brought down to 5%.

He said it was decided not to cut GST cut on cement and auto parts, in view of the revenue implications.

Among other cuts he announced were on movie tickets, where those costing up to Rs 100 have been brought down from 18 to 12 % and those priced above Rs 100 from 28 to 18%.

The meeting, chaired by Jaitley, was attended by representatives of council including Tamil Nadu fisheries minister D Jayakumar, Delhi finance minister Manish Sisodia, West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra, Karnataka rural development and panchayat raj minister Krishna Byre Gowda, Kerala finance minister TM Thomas Isaac, Haryana finance minister Captain Abhimanyu and Punjab finance ministers Manpreet Singh Badal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on Tuesday that the tax rates of several goods and services would be brought down to provide relief to the common man has raised hopes of the middle class, a key constituency that no government can afford to alienate, especially when the General Election is months away.

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