Sandesh, the famous sweet made from concentrated milk, will attract 5% goods and services tax (GST) even when prepared with a chocolate layer, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) clarified on Thursday. It added that any ingredient — khoya or male — prepared from concentrated milk will be taxed at 5%. The clarification on GST rates was issued by CBEC through a set of frequently-asked questions (FAQs). “The sweet shops in Kolkata were under panic because there were apparently different GST rates based on the type of sweet and ingredients. Now the government has clarified that GST rate on all Bengali sweets is 5%,” Archit Gupta, founder and CEO of ClearTax, said.
Additionally, the department also clarified rates of certain items that fell under two different categories. For instance, while fresh tamarind will attract 0%, dry tamarind will be levied with 12% GST, CBEC said. Similarly, it was clarified that ready-made garments would be taxed on the actual sale value and not on the maximum retail price. “The sale value referred to in the notification refers to the transaction value and not the retail sale price of such ready-made garments,” CBEC said.
If a wholesaler supplies ready made garments for a transaction value of Rs 950 per piece to a retailer, the GST levy would be at 5%, CBEC said. It added that if the retailer sells such garments for Rs 1,100 per piece, the GST levied on this will be 12%.
“Clarity is still needed for many items such as automobile repairs, movie halls. Local bodies are allowed to levy their own tax thus bringing the total taxes to 58% in places like Tami Nadu (28% GST+30%). There is still no clarification regarding the various state tax holidays and state benefits enjoyed by many industries,” Gupta said.