Free Press Journal

Government may cut GST on cement, Air Conditioners as revenues rise: Arun Jaitley


New Delhi : Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said the government may cut goods and services tax on cement, air conditioners, and large screen television sets as revenues from the new indirect tax improve.

The three items are currently under the 28 per cent slab in goods and services tax.

“On Friday, the 28 per cent category is being phased out. Bulk of these items remaining in this category is only luxury items or sin goods. The other items outside the luxury goods category are cement, air-conditioners, large screen televisions and a handful of others. Hopefully, with further expansion of revenues, these few items may also witness a change of category,” Jaitley said in a Facebook post on Friday.

Jaitley is a minister without a portfolio. Finally only sin goods and luxury items will remain in the 28 per cent tax category in good and services tax, the former finance minister said.

The GST Council on Saturday reduced the tax rate on around 30 items including paints and some white goods including refrigerators, and washing machines to 18 per cent from 28 per cent.

The government may lose around Rs 10,000-12,000 crore annually on the decisions taken on Saturday to lower the GST on various items across slabs.

Back in November, when the GST Council moved as many as 178 items from the highest 28 per cent slab to 18 per cent, it took a revenue hit of around Rs 20,000 crore per year.

Jaitley said the net revenue loss the government has suffered on account of the reduction in goods and services tax so far was about Rs 70,000 crore.