Along with the total exemption of sanitary napkins from the GST, the GST council also lowered rates of a number of products thereby making it cheaper and more pocket-friendly. The new revised rates will come into effect from July 27th.
Washing machines, fridges, lithium-ion batteries (used in mobile phones and battery back-up packs), TVs under 25 inches and other household electronic items will be available at much cheaper rates to the public. Household appliances such as washing machines, fridges, vaccum cleaners, hair dryers, perfumes, cosmetics, etc. have been moved from their initial tax bracket of 28% to the 18% bracket.
TVs below 25 inches will also soon be included 18% slab, but TVs above 25 inches will continue to be taxed at 28%, including new launches. Lithium-ion batteries will also be taxed at 18%, a move that has been welcomed by many manufacturers. “The reduction of GST slab on lithium-ion batteries used in mobile phones from 28% to 18% will certainly prove as a good boost to the mobile phone industry as it would improve the penetration and affordability of the product in smaller towns across the country. This rationalization of the taxation is a growth booster and we welcome the move by the government,” said Sudhir Kumar, CEO, Tambo Mobile.
Handloom items and footwear below Rs. 1,000 will be taxed a 5%, from their original 12% tax rate, whereas leather items will have an 18% tax rate. Taxes on handbags, jewellery boxes, wooden photo frames, stone art wear, ornamental frame mirrors, glass art ware, etc. have also been reduced to 5%.
Avid readers can also rejoice as GST on e-books has also been reduced from 18% to 5%. The reduced prices are set to attract an increased wave of consumers, and in turn, allow for growth of the concerned industries and sectors.
A report in Livemint said that India’s 72,000-crore consumer durables industry grew at 7.5-8.5% in 2017-18 and is expected to grow in double digits during the current financial year, according to the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers, the apex all-India body of the consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile industry.
Apart from sanitary napkins, stone, marble, wood deities, rachis without precious stones, fortified milk, brooms, etc. have also been fully exempted from the GST. “The decisions will benefit 125 crore citizens, particularly low and middle-income families, traders and artisans,” said finance minister Piyush Goyal.