Washing machines, AC, refrigerators may get cheaper as govt considers tax cut on white goods

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Washing machines, AC, refrigerators may get cheaper as govt considers tax cut on white goods

Earlier this month, the Council brought down taxes on over 200 consumer goods. As many as 178 items of daily use were shifted from the top tax bracket of 28 per cent to 18 per cent, while a uniform 5 per cent tax was prescribed for all restaurants, both air- conditioned and non-AC.

In a bid to increase consumer demand, the GST Council may extend the tax cut on consumer durables like washing machines and refrigerators from the current level of 28 per cent to 18 per cent in the upcoming meet. It is also expected to help push demand in the sector, the TOI report said.

Earlier this month, the Council brought down taxes on over 200 consumer goods. As many as 178 items of daily use were shifted from the top tax bracket of 28 per cent to 18 per cent, while a uniform 5 per cent tax was prescribed for all restaurants, both air- conditioned and non-AC.

The TOI report suggests that a part of the reason for lower levy on restaurants was also to free women from household chores, which begin with packing lunch for children in the morning and extend till late at night.

"Globally, products such as dish washers and washing machines are seen to be items which have unburdened women, leaving them with more time for themselves or other productive work," the report said. Several white goods are already in the 12 per cent and 18 per cent tax slab.

Ever since the GST was rolled out, the industry has been demanding that appliances such as washing machines, TVs, refrigerators be placed in the 18 per cent tax slab as these are no longer considered luxury items.

Godrej Appliances EVP and Business Head Kamal Nandi had reprtedly said that home appliances have become a necessity and are no longer a luxury. "We believe that in a market like India, which is a low-penetrated market, slotting appliances under the 18 per cent tax slab will make them more affordable. We have been giving this feedback to the government," the Hindu Business Line quoted him as saying.

Revenue Secretary Hashmukh Adhia had earlier called for complete overhaul in GST rates. He said: "There is need for some rejig in rates. It is possible that some items in the same chapter are divided. There is a need for harmonisation of items chapter wise and wherever we find there is a big burden on small and medium businesses and on common man, if we bring them down, there will be a better compliance."

The government has brought down taxes on over hundreds of products in the last couple of GST Council meet.