GST Rates reduces on 29 goods, 53 services-Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

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Hitherto, fertiliser manufacturers, power producers, automobile manufacturers and other industries were buying natural gas and other petroleum products by paying CST of 2 per cent against Form-C.

The Council has also discussed measures to simplify the process for filing returns. Drip irrigation system, including laterals and sprinklers, will also attract lower GST of 12 per cent, instead of 18 per cent earlier.

The items on which GST rates are slashed include second-hand cars, confectionary, bottled water and mehendi, while the services include education, insurance, entertainment and tourism.

The Council has reduced rate on tailoring service from 18 per cent to 5 per cent, rate on services by way of admission to theme parks, water parks, joy rides, merry-go-rounds, go-carting and ballet, from 28 per cent to 18 per cent. The new GST rates will be applicable from January 25.

The panel, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising representatives of all States, at its 25th meeting also considered simplification of return filing process, but it has not yet finalised a decision. Infosys is the IT service provider for GST technological network.

"Initially, there will be a GSTR3B and a supplier's invoice". According to some reports, Council may set a 12 per cent rate for the real estate sector and may also decide to subsume stamp duty and registration charges in GST.

Before the next meet, the council is expected to hold a meeting via video conferencing to chalk out the agenda and finish off some issues pending from yesterday's meet.

The government is waiting for the e-way Bill to come into effect all over the country from February 1, for inter-state movement of goods.

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15 states agree on intra-state e-way bill.

Without divulging the details finance minister Arun Jaitley during a media briefing said, "These will have a minor impact on revenues, but will boost jobs".

"It is necessary to build an anti-evasion measure. While direct tax collections are well ahead of target, indirect tax collections need to be closely watched, especially in the light of huge IGST credit and transitional credits", Rastogi said.

GST collections slipped for the second consecutive month from Rs 83, 000 crore to Rs 80,808 crore in November. "The scheme has not been enthusiastically responded". It agreed to increase threshold limit for exemption from GST for all the theatrical performances like music, dance, drama, orchestra, folk or classical arts in any Indian language in theatre from Rs 250 to Rs 500 per person. "There seemed to be cases of under-declaration".

Rs 35,000 crore of Integrated GST will be provisionally divided between the Centre and states. "Today it was discussed but not approved but we are moving in that direction", the Finance Minister added.

"I request the Government of India to raise the standard deduction permitted for the personal income tax from ₹1.50 lakh to ₹2.50 lakh and accord similar revision for elderly people", said Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Paneerselvam.

Asked about the Congress demand for inclusion of petroleum products in the GST, the Finance Minister said it did not come up on Thursday.