In a relief to the common man, the GST Council on Saturday cut rates on 23 commonly used goods and services, including TV screens, movie tickets and power banks. The annual revenue implication of the rate cuts would be Rs 5,500 crore, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
The Council rationalised the 28 per cent slab by bringing down the tax rate on seven items in the highest tax bracket, thereby leaving only 28 items in the slab.
Briefing reporters after the 31st GST Council meeting in Delhi, Jaitley said rate rationalisation is an ongoing process.
"28 per cent bracket is gradually moving to sunset... The next target will be rate rationalisation in cement as and when affordability improves," he said.
Now, the 28 per cent slab is restricted to only luxury and sin goods, apart from auto parts and cement -- tax rates on which could not be cut due to the high revenue implication.
Monitors and TV screens up to 32-inches and power banks will attract 18 per cent GST, as against 28 per cent earlier.
GST on movie tickets costing up to Rs 100 was cut to 12 per cent from 18 per cent, while tickets over Rs 100 will attract 18 per cent tax, against 28 per cent earlier. This will have a revenue implication of Rs 900 crore. The Producers Guild of India has hailed the decision of government to reduce GST on cinema tickets as a "progressive step" which will help the industry "move forward positively."
"We look forward to continuing to engage with the government on initiatives that will help to unleash the full potential of the film industry," Siddharth Roy Kapur, President of Producers Guild of India said in a statement. The move comes after a delegation from the film industry, including Kapur, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed several issues the industry faces.
"The Film Industry truly appreciates the continued endeavours of the GST Council, The Central and State Governments towards resolving issues faced by the stakeholders in the smooth functioning of GST," the statement further read.
The new tax rates will come into effect from January 1, 2019.