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No GST on sanitary napkins

New Delhi: Conceding a year-long demand, sanitary pads were on Saturday exempted from the goods and services tax as the GST Council reduced rates on an array of daily-use products.

While the GST on sanitary pads was cut from 12 per cent to zero, rakhis were exempted from the tax, finance minister Piyush Goyal told reporters here.

Among the items on which GST was reduced were footwear costing up to Rs 1,000, small television sets, water heaters, irons, refrigerators, lithium ion batteries, hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, food appliances and ethanol.

"The GST Council cuts the tax rate on an array of products. Rakhis have been exempted from GST, tax on ethanol has been cut to 5 per cent, small handicrafts have been exempted," Goyal said.

Besides, tax rates on worked up Kota stone, sand stone and similar quality of local stones were cut from 18 to 12 per cent, with the purpose of avoiding classification disputes.

The value limit of footwear was enhanced from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 for 5 per cent rate.

GST on 17 items used by the middle class, such as paints, refrigerators, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, storage water heaters and TVs up to 68cm, was reduced from 28 to 18 per cent. The next GST Council meeting will be held on August 4. 

NE reaction

The industry in the Northeast was happy that the threshold exemption limit for registration in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Sikkim has been increased to Rs 20 lakh, reports our special correspondent from Guwahati.

The exemption was recommended on Saturday at the 28th meeting of the GST Council in New Delhi.

A senior Federation of Industry and Commerce of North Eastern Region (Finer) official said, "This means businesses with annual turnover of Rs 20 lakh would now be out of the GST net."

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