In its 23rd meeting in Guwahati on Friday, the GST Council has introduced a major change in the tax slab. The Council had trimmed down the tax rates on 172 items including chocolates, chewing gum, shampoo, deodorant, shoe polish, detergents and cosmetics.
“Only 50 items to face 28% rate,” Bihar finance minister Sushil Modi told reporters on the sidelines of the ongoing Council meeting.
“There were 227 items in the 28% slab. The fitment committee had recommended that it should be pruned to 62 items. But the GST Councilhas further pruned to more items. Now all types of chewing gum, chocolates, preparation for women cosmetics, shaving and after-shave items, deodorants, washing powder detergent and granite and marble. All these items have been put in the 18% category,” Modi said.
There was unanimity that in 28% category there should be only sin and demerit goods, he added. “So, today the GST Council took a historic decision, that in the 28% slab there will be only 50 items and the remaining items have been brought down to 18%.”
Paints, cement have been retained at 28%, he further added. Luxury goods such as washing machine and air conditioners have been retained at 28%.
But mass consumption items have been lowered to 18%, he said.
Earlier DNA Money reported that a major chunk of items would be slashed from the 28% gambit. Talking to the newspaper, Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac told DNA Money that the government was in a “panicky mode” and is likely to bend backwards to meet the demands of the traders and businesses.
“BJP is in a panicky mode, virtually reducing (GST rate on) everything from 28% to 18% and from 18% to 12%. In the 28% bracket of GST, 222 items is likely be reduced to 52 items,” he said.
According to the Kerala FM, there is also going to be presentation on bringing real estate under GST.
“There is no decision on real estate but there is going to be presentation (on whether it should be brought under GST),” he told DNA Money.