Nancy B. Varghese
In a welcoming move for businesses and consumers, alike, GST rates were slashed on over 200 items - including chocolates, chewing gum, beauty products, amongst others!
Citizens can also heave a collective sigh of relief, as the GST council has reduced the levy on restaurants, both AC and non-AC, and has included it in the 5 per cent tax bracket.
The largest chunk of cutbacks was done on the 28 per cent slab, which earlier included 227 items, but will now be imposed on just 50 items.
"We have been reviewing the 28 per cent slab in the last three meetings. In last meetings, we had cut it on 30-40 items... It was being felt that optically some items should not be in 28 per cent and then there were some items that were manufactured earlier by those that enjoyed excise duty exemption”, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to reporters, after a meeting with the GST Council.
Only luxury goods are now placed in the highest tax bracket, which includes pan masala, cigars and cigarettes, aerated water and beverages, cement, paints, perfumes, ACs, dish washing machine, washing machine, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, cars and two-wheelers, aircraft and yacht, and tobacco products.
Restaurants of starred hotels that charge Rs 7,500 or more per day as room tariff will be included in the 18 per cent GST bracket, but Input Tax Credit (ITC) is allowed for them. For those charging less than Rs 7,500 as room tariff will be levied 5 per cent GST with no benefit of ITC.
The list of items on which the tax rate has been brought down to 18 per cent, from 28 per cent, include chocolate, custard powder, coffee, chewing gum, sanitary ware, detergent and washing powder, polishes and creams, razors and blades, cookers, stoves, and mattresses, among other daily consumption items.
You can find the full list of the revised with updated GST tax rate at 18 per cent here.
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