GST Council meet: Detergent, shampoo may get cheaper but shaving cream may not

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Updated: November 10, 2017 12:15:41 PM

Whether you are planning to dine out or buy furniture or even shampoo, come Saturday and these items are going to cost you lesser.

GST, GSTN, GST Network, offline tool, offline tool for business, GSTThe GST council is going to bring down prices of over a 100 items. (Express Photo)

At the second day of GST Council meeting being held in Guwahati, it is likely that tax rate on as many 160 items from the highest slab of 28% will be slashed. Whether you are planning buy furniture, detergent, or even shampoo, come Saturday and these items may cost you but not butnot shaving creams. While the GST Council is mulling to slash tax rates on 80% items in top 28% slab, shaving cream is reportedly categorised under the rest 20% items, on which the 28% rates are going to continue.

The GST Council is likely to discuss lowering tax rates on AC restaurants, handmade furniture, plastic products and many daily use items, but shaving creams, chocolates, digital cameras, washing machine, refrigerator and some others items are going to continue with 28% GST rate. Dining out at AC restaurants might also get cheaper as the Group of Ministers (GoM) have recommended lowering of tax rates from 18% to 12%.

All types of furniture attract a 28 percent tax under GST. Wooden furniture is handmade by unorganised sector artisans and is mostly used by middle-class families and there have been demands for lowering tax incidence on them. Also, some items of plastic attract 18 percent GST but goods like shower baths, sinks, wash basins, bidets, lavatory pans, seats and covers, flushing cisterns and similar sanitary ware of plastics attract 28 percent levy.

At the meeting, the council is also likely to allow taxpayers to file their returns on a quarterly basis instead monthly to make less burdensome. In a further relief to small and medium enterprises (SME), the panel is likely to rationalise tax rate in sectors where the total incidence of taxation has gone up because the goods were earlier either exempt from excise or attracted lower VAT rates in the previous indirect tax regime.

However, yet again there was no mention whether fuel would be brought under the GST regime. The government, in the past, had ruled out bringing fuel under the GST even as Oil and Petroleum Minister has been advocating for it strongly. In GST Council Meeting on Oct 6, the rate of diesel engine parts and pumps were reduced from 28% to 18%. The council also lowered tax rates on 27 products and a few services, while offering relief to exporters and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Currently, the GST regime slots items under four primary tax rate slabs — low rate of 5%, standard rates of 12% and 18%, and high rate of 28%. Other than this, gold and jewellery are taxed at a concessional GST rate of 3%, while rough diamonds are having a 0.25% levy.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hinted that more measures would be taken for businesses for ease under the GST regime. “As you all know, GST is the biggest tax reform in the Indian economy. And it impacts many aspects of doing business. With GST, we are moving towards a modern tax regime, which is transparent, stable and predictable,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

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