Consumer Products firms need GST on ACs, Large TVs cut to 18%

White goods makers want Goods & Services Tax  (GST) on air conditioners (ACs) and large televisions (above 32 inches) to be cut to 18 percent from 28 percent in the first GST Council meeting of Modi 2.0. The white goods market in India is currently worth around Rs 60,000 crore.

The GST Council, headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is likely to convene in June. Before that, the members will interact with stakeholders of different sectors to understand requirements of every industry.

As part of this process, each industry association will present a wish-list to the GST Council. Most demands pertain to deduction in the price of taxation.

Gurmeet Singh, Chairman and MD, Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India, is hopeful of a deduction in rates once the GST Council meets under the new government.

“AC is a residential product, but has a penetration of 5-6 percent in India. Its ticket value is comparable to large- to medium-sized TVs, refrigerators or washing machines. It continues to be a valuable product for Tier II and III towns. The GST deduction will help us,” he said.

If the GST rates deducts, prices of ACs will drop again. Till date, ACs were viewed as a luxury item and hence should be taxed at the highest slab of 28 percent.

Apart from ACs, there has been also a regular demand from the smart TV segment to pare down the GST rate to 18 percent.

Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO, Super Plastronics (the exclusive brand licensee for Kodak TVs and Thomson TVs in India), said that while the 32 inch and 40 inch television category is among the top sellers online, GST of 28 percent still continues to be a dampener for the industry.

“28 percent GST for TVs is the highest rate charged anywhere in the world. We hope that, this is reduced to 18 percent, which will boost volume and make higher tax collection,” he added.

Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had earlier indicated that when the GST collections would go high significantly, this could open up ideas for rate cuts across products like high-end TVs and lifestyle products like ACs.

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