Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday addressed the addresses a press conference in Guwahati, Assam and announced the major decisions taken in the 23rd GST Council meeting. Ever since the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been implemented in the country, GST council meets have been taking place every month to review the feedback the government is getting from businessmen, traders, manufactures and consumers on GST. The GST council meetings are aimed to consider if there are any changes which are required to further ease the implementation of new indirect tax system in the country. 

The two-day 23rd GST Council meeting which started on Thursday and concluded on Friday. The meeting was chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Finance & Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia, finance ministers of other states, financial officers, union ministers, and other senior leaders. Decision to slash GST rates on a number of items has been taken in the GST Council meet, which will be a relief to millions of people as prices of all these items which has been transferred from high tax slab to lower tax slab will be reduced. 

Here are 10 key takeaways from 23rd GST Council meet chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

  1. 178 items have been moved from 28% to 18% GST slab, changes will be applicable from November 15.
  2. 13 items moved from 18% to 12%, 6 items from 18% to 5%, 8 items from 12% to 5%, 6 items from 5% to nil.
  3. All restaurants in the country to be levied GST of 5%, no ITC benefit to any restaurant. 
  4. Filing of return for 3B will be continued till March. All tax payers will continue to file 3B till March 2018.
  5. If there is a nil return to be filed then late filing penalty will be reduced to Rs 20. For others it has been reduced to Rs 50.
  6. Prices of items which now will be slashed are chocolates, nutrition drinks, marble, cosmetics, chewing gum, shampoo, deodorant, shoe polish, detergents, etc.
  7. Consumers can also expect a price cut on items like cosmetics, shaving items, deodorants, washing powder detergent, granite marble, etc.
  8. India adopted its new indirect tax regime on July 1, 2017 after its grand launch which took place at mid-night session of the Parliament. The session was attended by the then President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, other senior leaders including Venkaiah Naidu, leaders from the opposition party, and other senior ministers. 
  9. GST slabs in have been divided into 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%.
  10. According to reports, there was also a unanimity and council’s consensus to bring the 28% slab to 18%. However, it may take some time given that the revenue factor associated with it.