In the biggest GST rejig yet, tax rates on over 200 items, ranging from chewing gum to chocolates, to beauty products, wigs and wrist watches, were today cut to provide relief to consumers and businesses.
Giving a major reprieve to the common man, the Council also decided to bring all AC and non-AC restaurants under 5 per cent tax bracket.
The massive pruning was done in the 28 per cent slab which will now be imposed on just 50 items from 227 earlier. Many of the items and services which were earlier taxed at 28% will now attract tax of 18% only.
Here’s what Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said at the press conference:
* As many as 178 items of daily use were shifted from the top tax bracket of 28 per cent to 18 per cent, while a uniform 5 per cent tax was prescribed for all restaurants, both air- conditioned and non-AC, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said
* Currently, 12 per cent GST on food bill is levied in non-AC restaurants and 18 per cent in air-conditioned ones. Jaitley said the restaurants, however, did not pass on the input tax credit (ITC) to customers and so the ITC facility is being withdrawn and a uniform 5 per cent tax is levied on all restaurants.
*Restaurants in starred-hotels that charge Rs 7,500 or more per day room tariff will be levied 18 per cent GST but ITC is allowed for them. While those charging less than Rs 7,500 room tariff will charge 5 per cent GST with no ITC benefit.
* Today 177 items have been transferred from 28% to 18% bracket. Only luxury and sin goods are now left in the highest tax bracket including pan masala, aerated water and beverages, cigars and cigarettes, tobacco products, cement, paints, perfu ACs, dish washing machine, washing machine, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, cars and two-wheelers, aircraft and yacht.
* The new 18% list also include wire and cables, furniture, mattress, trunk, suitcase, detergents, shampoos, hair cream, hair dyes, make up, fans, lamp, rubber tubes and microscope.
* Chewing gum, chocolates, coffee, custard powder, marble and granite, dental hygiene products, polishes and creams, sanitary ware, leather clothing, artificial fur, wigs, cookers, stoves, after-shave, deodorant, detergent and washing power, razors and blades, cutlery, storage water heater, batteries, goggles, wrist watches and mattress are among the products on which tax rate has been cut from 28 per cent to 18 per cent.
* Tax on wet grinders and armoured vehicles was cut from 28 per cent to 12 per cent.
* 13 items have been shifted to 12% from 18% GST bracket including condensed milk, refined sugar, pasta curry paste, diabetic food, medical grade oxygen, printing ink, hand bags, hats, spectacles frame and bamboo/cane furniture.
* Six items have been moved from 18% to 5% bracket.
* Eight items including Tax on idli dosa batter, finished leather, coir, fishing net, worn clothing and desiccated coconut has been shifted from 12% to 5%
* Six items including Guar meal, hop cone, certain dried vegetables, unworked coconut shell and fish would attract nil GST tax as against 5 per cent now.
* Penalty on late filing reduced: For nil tax, late filing penalty reduced to Rs 20 per day from Rs 200.
* For others, late filing penalty reduced from Rs 200 per day to Rs 50 per day.