The GST Council has acceded to the demands of several industries, small traders, producers and low income consumers and slashed the rates of 66 items in the 16th GST Council meeting. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stated that even though government revenues would take a hit; the resultant inflation check and gains from the expanded tax base would help yield significant tax gains.
The Council lowered the GST rate on labour intensive industries considerably from the present 18% to 5% which will give workers in the clothing, leather, jewellery, diamond processing and printing industries huge relief.
Apart from this, rates have been lowered for several products such as cashew nuts, packaged foods (sauces and pickles), agarbatti, insulin, school bags, children’s colouring books, cutlery, and some tractor components. Furthermore, the tax rate on cinema tickets costing Rs. 100 or less was also reduced to 18% from the earlier 28%.