GST Council reduces tax rates on over 80 items, exempts sanitary napkins

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The GST Council has reduced tax rates on over 80 items and exempted sanitary napkins, rakhis, stone, marble, wooden deities and Saal leaves from GST.

Briefing media after chairing the 28th GST Council meeting in New Delhi yesterday, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said GST on footwear priced below one thousand rupees will attract 5 percent rate. He said, the decisions will benefit 125 crore citizens, particularly low and middle-income families, traders and artisans.

The Minister said, besides revenue collection, the GST council will now focus on job creation as well. The council has cleared amendments which will be passed in Parliament. Goyal informed that exemption limit for traders in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim has been increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.

Simplification in tax is the government priority. Soon the government will link RFID tags with Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) for transporters and this will reduce harassment of transporters at toll plazas, the minister added.

The GST Council also approved the new return formats and associated changes in the law.

All taxpayers excluding small taxpayers and a few exceptions will file one monthly return. The return is simple with two main tables of which one will be for reporting outward supplies and one for availing input tax credit.

The Council approved the quarterly filing of return for the small taxpayers having turnover below Rs 5 crore as an optional facility.

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