Your food bill is not likely to burn a hole in your pocket from today as revised Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates have come into effect from Wednesday. In a big decision last Friday, the GST Council spearheaded by Arun Jaitley had slashed tax rates on 177 items and put them under 18% slab rate from 28%. The Council had also cut the GST rate on AC and non-AC restaurants and put it under 5% bracket from 18% in a bid to make eating out cheaper.
The move is likely to boost consumer demand and provide momentum to the new tax regime which came to effect on July 1, 2017. “All our decisions are people-inspired, people-friendly and people-centric. We are working tirelessly for India’s economic integration through GST,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi had posted on Twitter after the rate cut. Bihar deputy CM and a member of GST Council Sushil Kumar Modi had said that there was unanimity in the meeting that only sin and demerit goods should fall under the 28% tax bracket and others should be brought under the 18% GST rate.
“There was unanimity that in the 28% slab, there should only be the so-called sin and demerit goods (the consumption of which is discouraged through high tax rates). So, today the council took a historic decision to retain only 50 items in the highest slab and to bring down the rate on the rest to 18%,” Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi had said after the conclusion of GST meeting on Friday.
Items that will be cheaper from today include chocolates, detergents, razors, grooming products, dried vegetables, spectacle frames etc. According to members of GST Council, the reduction in tax rates will result in a revenue loss of around Rs 20,000 in a year, but the govt had to make the move for the convenience of consumers.