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GST slab for luxury, sin goods could see change; tax on cement, ACs may be cut soon: Arun Jaitley

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In a blog post published on social media on Friday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hinted that Goods and Services Tax (GST) tax rate on luxury and sin goods such as cement, air-conditioners and large screen televisions, among others, could be cut soon.

The finance minister has said that “within a record period of thirteen months, the GST Council has almost phased out the 28 percent category,” with the remaining products being luxury-sin goods.

“The day GST was implemented, several items which were proposed to be put in the 28 percent category (where the 31 percent items were adjusted) were brought down to 18 percent. On 10th November, 2017, within four-and-half months of GST implementation, 177 items and on 21st July, 2018, another fifteen items were brought down. Even in other GST meetings on individual basis, several items were considered and brought down,” Jaitley said in the blog.

“Today, the 28 percent category is being phased out. Bulk of these items remaining in this category are only luxury items or sin goods,” Jaitley added.

Items of common use such as sanitary napkins, footwear and fridge got cheaper as GST rate cut on about 88 items came into effect on Friday.

The GST Council, chaired by interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, had last week pruned the highest 28 percent tax slab by moving some goods to the 18 percent tax bracket.

Refrigerator, washing machine, small screen TV, storage water heaters, paints and varnishes will attract 18 percent GST from Friday, as against 28 percent.

Sanitary napkins, which attracted 12 percent GST, have been exempted from tax with effect from Friday.