-B Swaminathan
Mumbai: The GST Council which met recently at Guwahati has slashed the prices of more than 170 items across the industries. Some of the requests of the IT hardware industries were also considered.

In the new notification, issued by the GST council, the tax slabs of products like Multi-Function printers, cable optical fibers, ink cartridge with/without print head assembly and ink spray nozzle, office or desk equipments, UPS, Power Bank, projectors battery and computer monitors are some of the products that have come under 18 percent slab that are most-relevant for the channel partners.

One of the highly confusing aspect in this notification in the market is the tax slab for monitors which is numbered 8528. The notification by the council reads, “Monitors and projectors, not incorporating television reception apparatus, reception apparatus for television, whether or not incorporating radio- broadcast receiver or sound or video recording or reproducing apparatus [other than computer monitors not exceeding 17 inches.”

It has to be remembered that all the IT associations from MAIT including small-town associations, had pleaded the government and agencies to place the IT products not more than 18 per cent category. “It is recommended that the list of IT goods as provided in the Information Technology Agreement…to which India is a signatory be subject to GST at the rate of 18 percent. This will also ensure that the aim of the government of digital India is achieved as GST at the rate of 28 percent will make IT products expensive to the end customer,” Manufacturers Association for Information Technology (MAIT) said in a statement in June.

Federation of AII India Information Technology Associations (FAIITA), the national umbrella body over all state IT federations/ associations met the central minister for IT and communications, Ravi Shankar Prasad to put forward their demanded to rationalize the tax structure to ‘Flat 18%’ for IT products.

Besides this, many vendors had already started billing at 18 percent for all the monitors. According to the market sources, even before the notification of monitors had come, many vendors got the clue on 18 percent GST and the invoices from the vendors, national distributors and regional distributors are charged with the new slab for all sizes.