‘Lahu ka lagaan’ ends: Sanitary products made tax free

GST Council Meet Government Cuts GST Rate On 88 Items Makes Sanitary Napkins Tax-Free

The Goods and Services Tax Council, at its 28th meeting on Saturday, reduced the rates on more than 50 products, including sanitary pads, small televisions, washing machines, and refrigerators. Earlier, sanitary napkins were taxed at 12% which had attracted a lot of criticism.

Slabs under Goods and Services Tax (GST) can be reduced to three from five at present in coming days for the convenience of consumers and businesses, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi. This would mean there would be no input tax credit available, even though inputs in the production of sanitary napkins are taxed.

It is expected that the council would decide on revision of tax rates on vending machines and lithium ion batteries among others. The minister said tax on bamboo had been slashed to 12 per cent.

"Radio Mirchi's RJ Charu posted this funky picture of a pad that looks too cool for school, while comic Sumukhi Suresh kept it simple with her tweet that just said: "#lahukalagaan maaf" (tax on blood waived). 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.

Congress lawmaker Sushmita Dev, who past year had launched an online petition with Change.org demanding total removal of taxes on pads, welcomed the government's move saying that it is a victory of more than four lakh citizens who had signed it.

The tax rate on ethanol blended with petrol, footwear costing up to 1,000 rupees and fertiliser grade phosphoric acid has been cut to from 12 to 5 percent, Goyal said. He said, the decisions taken today will be applicable from 27th of this month.

"The simplification of returns and allowing traders below Rs 5 crore turnover to file quarterly returns will positively lower compliance burden".

EY Partner Abhishek Jain said: "The reduction of GST rates from 28 per cent to 18 per cent shows that directionally, the Government seems to be clear that the 28 per cent rate should be restricted to super luxury and sin goods".

Taxpayers who are yet to register under the GST have been given a final extension till August 31. The Council will meet next on August 4.

This is the fourth time since the roll out of the GST that the Council, chaired by Union Finance Minister and comprising state counterparts, has rationalised rates. With the stabilisation of revenue, the rate on many items were gradually reduced.

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