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'GST on 50 items of mass consumption slashed to 18%'

11 November 2017

Briefing media after the marathon day-long GST council meeting, Arun Jaitley informed that only 50 items had now remained in the 28 % bracket that includes luxury items, sin goods, white goods, auto parts, yatch parts, aircraft parts, cement and paints etc.

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The GST Council, earlier in the day, chose to slash rates on more than 175 items, reducing taxes on these from the existing 28 per cent. Besides, the meeting also made a decision to reduce the tax slab of various other items.

Seeking to put a Congress stamp on the changes to the GST, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Friday said that representatives from party-ruled states will "force changes" to the indirect tax regime at the GST Council meeting in Guwahati. As expected earlier, the all-powerful council agreed to slash GST rates on restaurant bills from 18 per cent to 5 per cent. It was said that the restaurants had not been giving Input Credit Tax benefit to the customers and the GST was charged on the previous rates. Jaitley informed that GST rates in respect of restaurants including both AC and non-AC categories have been reduced to uniform five per cent from the existing 18 %. All these got input tax credit, a facility to set off tax paid on inputs with final tax.

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To ease compliance burden for small businesses, the GST Council is also going to review the requirement of filing three returns every month under the GST set-up. But with no input tax credit, several experts said restaurateurs may end up increasing menu prices.The initial 18% tax rates for air-conditioned restaurants and 12% for non air-conditioned restaurants were slashed to 5% GST on all food items from November 15. "Why is electricity and petrol kept out of GST?" he said.

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'GST on 50 items of mass consumption slashed to 18%'