FM Nirmala Sitharaman Announces Significant GST Exemptions and Reductions

June 23, 2024

New Delhi: In a significant relief to the public and various sectors, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced several key changes in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. The GST Council has decided to exempt railway platform tickets from GST, along with a few other public services. This decision aims to ease the financial burden on daily commuters and improve the affordability of railway services.

Key highlights from the announcement include:

Exemption for Railway Services:

Platform Tickets: Railway platform tickets will now be exempt from GST, providing relief to millions of passengers who use the railway platforms daily.

Retiring Rooms, Waiting Rooms, and Cloakroom Services: These essential services offered at railway stations will also be exempt from GST, making travel more convenient and affordable for passengers.

Uniform GST on Solar Cookers:

The GST Council has suggested implementing a uniform 12% GST rate on all solar cookers. This move is expected to promote the use of renewable energy and support the government's green initiatives by making solar cookers more economically accessible.

Exemption for Student Hostels:

Hostels for students located outside educational institutions will now be exempt from GST. This measure is designed to make off-campus living more affordable for students, thereby supporting their educational pursuits without additional financial strain.

Reduced GST on Packaging and Milk Cans:

Carton Boxes: The GST rate on all carton boxes has been reduced to 12%, a move that is likely to benefit industries involved in packaging and logistics by lowering their operational costs.

Milk Cans: Similarly, the GST on all milk cans has been reduced to 12%, which is expected to benefit the dairy industry and contribute to reducing the overall cost of milk distribution.

These changes reflect the government's ongoing commitment to simplifying the GST framework and providing relief to various sectors. The reduction and exemption of GST on these essential services and products are expected to stimulate economic activity and support the daily needs of the general populace.

Finance Minister Sitharaman emphasized that these steps are part of the government's broader strategy to make goods and services more affordable, thereby enhancing the quality of life for citizens and supporting sustainable economic growth.

The new GST rates and exemptions will come into effect immediately, and detailed notifications will be issued by the GST Council to ensure smooth implementation across the country.