India scraps controversial tax on sanitary pads

23 July, 2018, 10:53 | Author: Natasha Holloway
  • The pre-owned car market has been subdued since November 2016 when the government demonetized high-value notes

"There will be no GST on sanitary pads", India's Acting Finance Minister Piyush Goyal told journalists Saturday.

The Finance Minister informed that the Special meeting of GST council will be held on 4th of next month in Delhi and it will be focussed on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises MSME Sector. Several folks online have warned us all that we shouldn't rejoice because while tax might be zero, prices of sanitary napkins could actually increase to compensate for the lack of input credit tax.

The Council brought down tax rates to 18 per cent from 28 per cent on 15 items, including vacuum cleaners, washing maching, 68 cm (27 inch) TV, fridge, laundry machines, paints and varnishes.

Also idols made of stone, marble, wood, rakhi not embedded with stone, phool jhadu, sal leaves, too have been exempted.

In a bid to woo the middle class ahead of the general elections, the government on Saturday slashed GST rates on over 100 products and services and simplified return filing process for businesses.

"Thank you. for understanding the need for menstrual hygiene and exempting sanitary pads from tax".

The new national GST (goods and services tax) was introduced last July under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and was the country's biggest tax overhaul in a generation.

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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.

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. To counteract this double taxation, the government refunds the entire tax paid on the input - meaning the raw materials - as long as the producer has paid the output tax. It is estimated to cause a revenue loss of around Rs 8,000-10,000, crore with cuts in the peak 28% slab alone costing the exchequer about Rs 6,000 crore.

"Today's decisions of the GST Council were guided by simplification, rationalisation..."

Mr Goyal said, traders with turnover up to 5 crore rupees will deposit GST monthly but they have to file the returns quarterly. The GST on handbags, jewellery box, wooden box for paintings, glass art ware, ornamental framed mirrors, handmade lamps, wax, natural gum, iron and brass products have been reduced from 18 per cent to 12 per cent.

Earlier, the council had revised tax rates on 29 items in January.

The GST Council also exempted Rakhis from GST.

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