Fertiliser GST rate pared, levy on cell phones

Ahead of the launch, at its eighteenth session late on Friday, the GST Council, chaired by Jaitley decided to reduce the tax rate for fertiliser to 5 per cent from 12 per cent and for exclusive tractor parts to 18 per cent from 28 per cent. ''Some felt that the higher tax on fertilisers may increase the burden on farmers,'' Jaitley said.

Effective 1 July, the government has imposed 10 per cent basic customs duty (BCD) on mobile phones and specified parts of mobile phones like charger, battery, wire headset, microphone and receiver, key pad, USB cable etc.

Certain other specified electronic goods such as printed circuit board assembly (PCBA), camera module, connectors display assembly, touch panel / cover glass assembly and vibrator motor / ringer will continue to be exempted from basic customs duty.

Further, inputs and raw material for manufacture of parts of above specified electronics goods including mobile phones will also continue to be exempt from BCD.

The decision to reduce tax rate on fertilizers from existing 12 per cent to 5 per cent under GST taken in the interests of the farmers, union minister for chemicals and fertilizers and parliamentary affairs Ananthkumar said while briefing the media on the outcome of the 18th meeting of the GST Council.

Under GST regime, a uniform MRP of Rs295.47 per 50 kg bag to be fixed across the country. Under the new GST rates announced by the council, the average weighted MRP will decrease to Rs5,909 per tonne (Rs295.47 per 50kg bag) as compared to the existing all India weighted average of Rs5,923 per tonne (Rs296.18 per 50 kg bag).

Farmers will benefit to the tune of Rs1,261 crore under GST regime, he said.

GST regime will thus help deter inter-state smuggling of fertilizers by integrating the entire fertilizer market into a single market.