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81% items to be taxed below 18% rate under GST: Government

18 May 2017

The Goods and Services Council today finalised tax rates for 1,211 items with a majority of items being kept at under 18 per cent rates. 

"GST Council today approved 7 GST rules in a meeting held in Srinagar, while legal committee is looking at remaining 2 GST rules ( return, transition rules)," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said. 

Briefing the media after the meeting in Srinagar, Jaitley said, today's meet was focused mainly on fitment of goods under slabs. GST Council may meet again if final rates not decided tomorrow. 

Clearing air over the GST rate slabs, Revenue Secratery Hasmukh Adhia said: "Nearly 81 per cent of the items will fall under below-18 per cent GST rate slabs and only 19 per cent of the goods will be taxed above 18 per cent." 

  • Sugar, Tea, Coffee (except Instant) and edible oil to fall under 5 per cent slab, while cereals, milk to be part of exempt list under GST.
  • In a big boost to industry, Council has set the rate for capital good, industrial intermediate items at 18 per cent.
  • Tooth paste, hair oil, soaps will be taxed at 18 per cent, it is being tax at 28 per cent, currently.
  • Coal to be taxed at 5 per cent against current 11.69 per cent.
  • Common man items have gone into 12 per cent and 18 per cent slab.
  • Indians sweets or mithai in 5 per cent slab.

Council will discuss the rate slab for important goods like gold and beedi rates tomorrow. No decision has been taken on Services tax rates and rates over auto sector.

The two-day meeting began here in Srinagar to finalise the nuts and bolts of the new tax framework, proposed to be rolled out from July. 

The council has begun discussion on the list of items that will attract 0 per cent GST. Most states have pitched for keeping items sensitive to their states out of the list. For example Uttar Pradesh wants Puja material out of tax net. Some other states want cotton yarn and silk yarn out. 

The Centre is keen on keeping the list small as a large list of exemptions would hurt the objective of base expansion. Exemption of essential services will also be discussed. The Council also discussed exemptions and items in the 5% slab. All raw food items, including foodgrains to be exempt. Processed food of daily needs to be in the 5% slab. 

Read more at: Economic Times