Centre slashes GST on 178 mass use items

Sushil Kumar Modi

The GST council meeting was attended by chief minister of Puducherry, deputy chief ministers of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Delhi and finance ministers of rest of the states barring those from the poll-bound Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

Guwahati: Commodities of daily use like washing powder, aftershave cream, detergent, chocolate are likely to get cheaper as the GST Council has chose to keep only 50 items in the top tax bracket of 28 per cent.

The council is also expected to slash tax rates on various goods of common consumption such as handmade furniture, shampoo, sanitary ware, plywood, stationery articles, and play instruments, among others. The 23 GST Council meeting held at Guwahati restructured the GST frame and modified several tax rates for the public.

In a bid to ease compliance burden for traders and businesses, fine for late filing of returns be cut to Rs 20 per day from Rs 200 for nil liability tax filers, Revenue Secretary Hasmuksh Adhia said.

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A panel, headed by Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, has suggested doing away with the tax rate distinction between AC and non-AC restaurants not covered under composition scheme. All the new GST rates will come into effect from November 15 next. 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 %.

The GST Council has been meeting every month since the new indirect tax regime was introduced on July 1, 2017.

"Congress FMs letter to Mr Jaitley will set the tone for discussions in the GST Council today (Friday)", Chidambaram said in a series of Tweets.

He said the 28% tax slab was based on the premise that many luxury and sin goods should be taxed at a higher rate, but in realty "a lot of items of mass consumption were also in 28%".

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