ATM withdrawals, funerals exempt: Nirmala Sitharaman issues GST clarification

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman put forth a strong defence in Parliament of her handling of inflation as she compared current prices to rates during the last six months of UPA government, and said the GST regime has not increased the tax burden on families.

Clarifying on misconception over the levy of GST on some popular items in the Rajya Sabha, the finance minister said no tax has been levied either on cash withdrawals from bank accounts, issuance of new cheque books or on crematorium or hospital beds and ICUs.

A GST has been levied on the purchase of printed cheque books by banks from printers, she said adding there is no tax on cheque books used by ordinary bank customers.

Similarly, a GST has been levied only on the construction of new crematoriums and the equipment used in it. Funeral, cremations or burials are not taxed, she said.

“The GST Council is accused of having levied charges on the crematorium. You are going to bury your dead, you are being charge…No,” the minister said.

Replying to a debate on price rise in Rajya Sabha, she said that GST on food items such as rice, wheat flour and curd was agreed to by all states and that such a levy pre-existed on one or the other daily essentials in 22 states.

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