Centre slashes GST on 178 mass use items

11 November, 2017, 01:49 | Author: Kim Reid
  • GST council likely to lower 28% tax on some common-use items Arun Jaitley

The 23rd meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is now underway and is being chaired by Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley.

The GST Council will meet on November 9 and 10 in Assam's capital Guwahati.

In a major relief to many, the GST council has chose to reduce tax rate on a wide range of daily use items.

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According to Divyesh Lapsiwala, Tax Partner, EY India: "Rate reduction for 200 plus goods and services may be suggestive of the fact that there is good buoyancy in tax collections, promoting a rate rationalisation".

He also said the Council had been looking at the 28 percent tax slab and constantly rationalising items in it in lesser tax slabs. The GST Council is also expected to offer more relief to small and medium enterprises due to compliance burden.

The rate of GST in case of eight items have been reduced to five per cent from existing 12 % and in case of six items it has been reduced to nil from existing six per cent. It has proposed a uniform tax rate of 12 per cent. At present, while manufacturers pay GST at 2 per cent, the rate for restaurants is 5 per cent. Traders now pay 1 per cent. Currently, GST is levied at 12 per cent on non-AC restaurants, while it is 18 per cent for air-conditioned ones.

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The panel also recommended lowering tax rates for manufacturers and restaurants under the composition scheme to 1 per cent. All these got input tax credit, a facility to set off tax paid on inputs with final tax.

Under (GST) regime implemented from July, over 1,200 products and services have been fitted into one of the 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent tax slabs based on the principle of keeping the total tax incidence at nearly the same level as previously as well as keeping revenue collections neutral.

The Congress on Friday lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that the entire Goods and Services Tax (GST) architecture and design was "defective".

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