The government today said foodgrains, flour, milk, vegetables and fruits will get cheaper by up to 5 percent once the Goods and Services Tax is rolled out. The government has exempted cereals, pulses, atta, maida and besan from the GST, which will be implemented from July 1. Milk, vegetables and fruits, puffed rice, salt, organic manure, animal feed, firewood, raw silk, wool, jute and hand-operated agriculture equipment too will be zero-rated under the new indirect tax regime.
“Due to no GST on these items, most of them are expected to become cheaper in the range of approximately 4-5 per cent as compared to their existing prices,” a finance ministry statement said. However, branded foodgrains and flours with registered trade mark will attract 5 per cent tax under GST.
While items like foodgrains, milk and vegetables do not attract any central tax at present, some states levy VAT of 4 -5 percent on these goods.
The GST Council, chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state counterparts, have over the last two meetings decided on the tax rates of almost all goods and services.
They have been put in tax slabs of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent with the exception of precious metals and imitation jewellery which will attract 3 per cent GST and rough diamonds which will be taxed at 0.25 percent. The GST will subsume various central and state levies, including excise, service tax and VAT.