India, Jan. 10 -- Offering major relief to small businesses, the GST Council on Thursday announced changes to the goods and services tax (GST) rules aimed at easing the burden of compliance on them and exempted an additional 2 million such businesses from registering with the indirect tax regime.

Analysts say this is another attempt by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government to woo a key constituency ahead of the 2019 general election. In the past three weeks, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has tightened rules for e-commerce so as to benefit small traders and retailers; pushed through Parliament a law promising 10% reservation in government jobs and college seats for the upper castes, and also discussed...