37th GST council meet: Nirmala Sitharaman announces slew of GST cuts, Automobile sector gets a “big gift”

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Saurabh Parmar
Digital Journalist (Specializing in Indian affairs & Contemporary Political development). A Writer by Profession. Administration Enthusiast by Passion. Altruist by Heart. That's enough about Me!

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held the 37th council meeting of GST in Panaji, Goa on September 20. The meeting comes at a crucial time when the country’s economic condition is said to be in perils.

Highlights of the GST meeting-

1. Automobile sector got a big gift from the meeting. The council recommended 12 percent lower cess for 1,500 cc diesel, 1,200 cc petrol vehicles. The cess will be available to those vehicles having a carrying capacity of up to 13 people.

2.GST rate on caffeinated beverages raised from 18 percent to 28 percent. The caffeinated beverages have also been added with 12 percent compensation cess.

3. There will be now zero GST on jewelry exports.

4. Composition scheme will not cover aerated drinks anymore.

5. Rate of hotel accommodation services has been reduced.

6. Group insurance schemes for paramilitary forces have been exempted from GST purview. The scheme is administered by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

7. Rate of GST on cut and polished semi-precious stones has been reduced from 3 percent to 0.25 percent.

8. Railway wagons and coaches saw a hike in their GST rates. Their rates were increased from 5% to 12%.

9. Uniform GST rate of 12% will be levied on polypropylene bags.

10. Council has also decided to reduce the rate of GST from 5 percent to 1.5 percent on the supply of job work services in connection to diamonds.

11. GST rate on slide fasteners has been reduced from 18 percent to 12 percent. Marine fuel rates have been reduced from 18 percent to 5 percent. 5 percent rate will be charged on wet grinders consisting of stone as a grinder, and Dried tamarind will have zero GST.

12. GST rates on fishmeal used by fishermen are being exempted from July 2017 to September 30 this year.

13.  Transaction value per unit per day of Rs. 1000 or less will now attract zero GST.

Earlier in the day, Nirmala Sitharaman also announced several economic reforms to boost the economy. The corporate tax cut was the most prominent move by the Narendra Modi government.

ALSO READ: Nirmala Sitharaman’s “big economic gifts” to the business ecosystem; Check highlights

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