The finance ministry on Wednesday clarified that goods exempt under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will attract a levy of 5% only if such items are sold as packaged goods bearing a registered brand name. For instance, goods such as chhena, paneer, natural honey, wheat, rice, pulses and cereal flours are not taxed under GST. However, if these items are packaged in ‘unit container’ that carries a registered brand name, it will attract 5% GST.
Doubts are being raised as to the meaning of a registered brand name, the finance ministry said in a statement. It added that the extant law clearly defined “registered brand name” as a brand name or trade name, which is registered under the Trade Marks Act, 1999.
“Thus, unless the brand name or trade name is actually on the register of trademarks and is in force under the Trade Marks Act, 1999, the GST rate of 5% will not be applicable on the supply of such goods,” the finance ministry said.