Who will benefit from the tax cut on sanitary napkins?
23 July, 2018, 10:52 | Author: Salvatore Jensen
Maharashtra finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar told reporters on the sidelines of the 28th GST Council meeting here on Saturday that sanitary napkins, now taxed at 12 per cent under the one-year-old GST regime, would not be taxed (under GST) anymore.
Sanitary napkins, which attract 12 per cent tax, and fortified milk, which was taxed at 18 per cent, have been exempt from the new indirect tax. Traders with turnover up to Rs 5 crore will deposit GST monthly but they don't have to file the returns quarterly, said Finance Minister Piyush Goyal while addressing the media today.
It is expected that the council would decide on revision of tax rates on vending machines and lithium ion batteries among others. To compensate for the taxes incurred on raw materials used to make sanitary napkins, pad manufacturers might increase their prices.
"GST Council cuts tax rate on an array of products".
Activists say removing the tax on pads tackles one of the biggest barriers to education for girls, who are often forced to stay at home due to a lack of access to clean hygiene products, while also facing stigma and a lack of toilets in schools.
However, that raincloud is something we can only deal with once the move comes into effect from 27 July.
The reverse charge mechanism has been deferred by a year to September 30, 2019, the minister said, while adding that the businesses with turn over of up to Rs 5 crore can file quarterly returns. This could benefit 93 per cent of tax payers.
Apart from the change in taxes on commodities, Piyush Goyal announced a number of measures to simplify tax filing.
Sources, however, said the tax rate reduction is likely to cost around Rs 8,000-10,000 crore annually to the exchequer.
The next GST Council meeting will be held on 4 August.
While hotels with tariff below Rs 1,000 are exempted from GST, those with tariff between Rs 1,000-2,500 are taxed at 12 per cent, those between Rs 2,500-7,500 at 18 per cent, and above Rs 7,500 at 28 per cent.
Taxpayers who are yet to register under the GST have been given a final extension till August 31.
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.
Besides revenue collection, the GST council will now focus on job creation as well, the Finance Minister said.
Earlier, the council had revised tax rates on 29 items in January.
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