By Hemanta Kumar Nath
Guwahati, November 10 : The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Friday had decided to reduce the tax rate on 177 items from 28 per cent to 18 per cent offering major relief to the consumers and businessmen.
The decision was taken during the 23rd GST Council meeting in presence of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, deputy CMs, finance ministers of the states held at Hotel Radison Blue in Guwahati.
After the council decision, previously 227 items are listed in 28 per cent slab, but now only 50 items have been left in the highest tax slab.
According to the reports, the biggest tax reductions after the GST implemented from July 1 last will likely to loss of revenue about Rs 20,000 crore in a year.
Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi said that, it is a historic decision taken by the GST Council as to retain only 50 items in the highest slab and cut the tax rate on 177 items from 28 per cent to 18 per cent.
The GST Council had reduced the tax rate on a range of goods like chewing gum, chocolates, marble, detergents, deodorants, snacks, shampoo, after shave etc.
Sources said that, automobile components, pan masala, air-conditioners, tobacco etc will remain in the highest tax slab.
Apart from it, the GST Council also reduced the tax rate on several items from 18 per cent to 12 per cent.
On the other hand, Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that, the Assam government has decided to introduce a chapter of GST in the textbooks of higher secondary level.