In a massive relief for consumers, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Friday decided to slash tax rate on a wide range of mass use items– ranging from chewing gums to detergents–to 18 per cent from existing 28 per cent.
The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in more tax rate changes, “178 items have been moved from 28 per cent to 18 per cent GST slab, changes will be applicable from November 15,” 13 items will move from the 18 per cent slab to 12 per cent, six items from 18 per cent to 5 per cent, eight items from 12 to 5 and six from 5 per cent to nil. Under GST, goods and services are taxed in four brackets — 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. There were 227 items in the highest slab, including daily use items including sanitary ware, suitcase, wall paper, plywood, handmade furniture, stationery articles, shampoo, watch among others.
All restaurants in and outside hotels will carry a 5 per cent GST charge, at those in starred hotels with room tariffs above 7,500 a night customers will have to pay 18 per cent GST. The benefit of ITC (Input Tax Credit) to restaurants has been revoked to restaurants because they were not passing on the benefit to customers.
Slamming the Central government on revised tax rates, the Congress said the populist changes have been made because of the forthcoming assembly elections in Gujarat.