Huge relief for girls as officials scrap tax on sanitary pads

GST Rate Cut Small Televisions Lithium Ion Batteries to Become Cheaper

28th meeting of the GST Council begins in New Delhi. 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. Reacting to questions raised by former finance minister P Chidambaram that why rates of 88 items were not reduced by the GST council in 2017, Modi said: "This is not a decision where only the BJP government is involved". The return is simple with two main tables - one for reporting outward supplies and one for availing input tax credit based on invoices uploaded by the supplier.

Items on which GST rates were reduced include footwear, small television sets, water heaters, refrigerators, lithium-ion batteries, hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, food appliances and ethanol.

After the latest rounds of rate cuts by the GST Council on July 21, only 35 items are left in the 28 per cent tax slab, an official said.

Union Textile minister Smriti Irani too tweeted thanking the Finance Minister for exempting sanitary napkins from GST.

The GST rate cut will come into effect from July 27.

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.

The reverse charge mechanism that asks the buyer to pay tax if goods are procured from an unregistered dealer has been deferred for one year.

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This, a report by Hindustan Times, said was in addition to the composition scheme, which allows small tax payers with sales of upto Rs 1 crore in most of the states, to pay taxes and file returns on a quarterly basis.

Apart from the change in taxes on commodities, Piyush Goyal announced a number of measures to simplify tax filing.

The official, however, said that the revenue loss would be only notional as increased consumption and compliance would lead to more revenues to the exchequer. The next meeting of the Council is slated on August 4, which will discuss issues relating to the MSME sector as well as ways to incentivise digital transaction via Rupay cards and BHIM app.

Mr Goyal said, traders with turnover up to 5 crore rupees will deposit GST monthly but they have to file the returns quarterly.

Last year, lawmaker Sushmita Dev launched a petition to demand a reduction or total removal of taxes on pads, citing that about 70 percent of women in India could not afford them.

The GST on sanitary pads has been cut from 12 per cent to zero. Those yet to register under GST will be given extension till August 31 without late penalty.

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