CA Bimal Jain

CA Bimal JainIn Srinagar, the all-powerful GST Council headed by the Hon’ble Finance Minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley met for the fourteenth time to finalise the nuts and bolts of the new GST tax framework. This meeting is paving the way for India to join select League of Nations with a GST rollout from July 1, 2017 as envisaged.

With the conclusion of the day one of the 14thGST Council meet on May 18, 2017, the gist of the key takeaways from the meeting of the GST Council are as under:

  • Approval to 7 Draft GST Rules & 2 Draft GST Rules sent for legal vetting:

The GST Councilhas given its approval to 7 sets of Draft Rules dealing with Registration, Payment, Refund, Invoice, Debit & Credit Note, Input Tax Credit, Valuation and Composition.

Two Draft GSTRules on Transition provisions and Returns have been sent for legal vetting.

  • Approval to GST tax rates for 1205 items of goods, tax fitment of remaining 6 items &services will be taken up today:

The GST Council hasbroadly approved the GST rates for 1205 items of goods out of 1211 items at nil rate, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% to be levied on certain goods, with essential items of daily use being kept in the lowest bracket of 5%. A decision on the tax rate for remaining 6categories of items, including Gold, Bidis, Textile, Footwear, Agricultural implements and Packaged/Branded food items, along with tax fitment for categories of services was kept in abeyance and will be taken up for discussion today.

GST Rate Schedule for Goods has been uploadedimmediately after the GST Council’s decision and however, it will be subject to further vetting during which the list may undergo some changes.

Revenue Secretary, Dr.HasmukhAdhia, has categorised the percentage of items in different rate slabs as under:

Percentage of total items Applicable Tax Rate slab
7% Exempt
14% 5%
17% 12%
43% 18%
19% 28%

Glimpse of GST Rate Schedule for Goods is given as under for easy digests:

(i) Nil Rate (0%): No tax will be imposed on items like fresh meat, fish chicken, eggs, milk, butter milk, curd, natural honey, fresh fruits and vegetables, flour, besan, bread, prasad, salt, bindi, Sindoor, stamps, judicial papers, printed books, newspapers, bangles, handloom etc.

(ii) 5% Rate: Items such as fish fillet, cream, skimmed milk powder, branded paneer, frozen vegetables, coffee (except instant coffee), tea, spices, pizza bread, rusk, sabudana, kerosene, coal (tax under the existing system is 11.69%), medicines, stent, lifeboats will attract tax of 5%.

(iii) 12% Rate: Frozen meat products , butter, cheese, ghee, dry fruits in packaged form, animal fat, sausage, fruit juices, Bhujia, namkeen, Ayurvedic medicines, tooth powder, agarbatti, colouring books, picture books, umbrella, sewing machine, and cellphones will be taxable at 12%.

(iv) 18% Rate: Most of the items will fall 18% tax slab which include flavoured refined sugar, pasta, cornflakes, pastries and cakes, preserved vegetables, jams, sauces, soups, ice cream, instant food mixes, mineral water, tissues, envelopes, tampons, note books, steel products, printed circuits, camera, speakers and monitors etc.

(v) 28% Rate: Chewing gum, molasses, chocolate not containing cocoa, waffles and wafers coated with chocolate, pan masala, aerated water, paint, deodorants, shaving creams, after shave, hair shampoo, dye, sunscreen, wallpaper, ceramic tiles, water heater, dishwasher, weighing machine, washing machine, ATM, vending machines, vacuum cleaner, shavers, hair clippers, automobiles, motorcycles, aircraft for personal use, and yachts etc., will attract a highest rate of tax i.e. 28%.

GST Rate Schedule for Goods can be accessed at below link:

  • Approval to rates of GST Compensation Cess for demerit & luxury items:

The GST Council has broadly approved the rates of GST Compensation Cess to be levied on certain goods such as Pan Masala, Aerated water, Tobacco and Tobacco Product, Cigarettes, Motor Vehicles etc. GST Compensation Cess Rates for different supplies has been uploaded immediately after the GST Council’s decision and however, it is also subject to further vetting during which the list may undergo some changes.

A cess of 204% has been proposed for pan masala containing tobacco ‘Gutkha’, cigarettes not exceeding 65 mm will attract a cess of 5% plus Rs. 1,591 per thousand.

Further, small petrol cars with an engine capacity of less than 1200 cc will attract 1% cess, and those with a diesel engine capacity of less than 1500 cc will attract 3% cess. Large cars with an engine capacity greater than 1500 cc, and SUVs with a length of more than 4 m and engine capacity greater than 1500 cc, will attract a cess of 15%. Motorcycles with an engine capacity of more than 350 cc will attract 3% cess and an equal amount of levy will be applied on aircraft for personal use and yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sports.

Rate Schedule of GST Compensation Cess can be accessed at below link:

At press conference, the Hon’ble Finance Minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley has said that “Tax rate under GST will not go up for any of the commodities. There is no increase. On many commodities, there is a reduction particularly because the cascading effect of tax on tax is gone. Several commodities, we have consciously brought down the tax. In the overall basket, there would be a reduction but we are banking on the hope that because of a more efficient system, evasion would be checked and tax buoyancy would go up. That, despite reduction the revenue neutrality and tax buoyancy thereafter would be maintained.”

Further, Mr. Jaitley has said that a decision on the tax rate for remaining 6categories of items along with tax fitment for categories of serviceswill be taken up for discussion today and if not able to conclude today, the GST Council will meet once again in order to clear all the cloud.

Our Comments:

From the recent series of events that out of 9 Draft Rules, 7 Draft Rules were finalized & remaining 2 sets of Draft Rulessent for legal vetting and nod to tax fitment of majority of items, it seems that the Government is very keen to implement the tax reform from July 1, 2017. As an attempt to keep check on inflation, the tax on goods falling in Consumer Price Index basket like cereals has been kept on lower side. Nonetheless, the rates to be decided for services sector, which contributes majorly to the GDP of the Country, will play a pivotal role in determining overall impact on inflation.

Source: Economic Times, Indian Express etc., and video capturing the press conference of Mr. Arun Jaitley after 14th GST Council Meet ends

Hope the information will assist you in your Professional endeavours. In case of any query/ information, please do not hesitate to write back to us.

Disclaimer: The contents of this document are solely for informational purpose. It does not constitute professional advice or recommendation of firm. Neither the authors nor firm and its affiliates accepts any liabilities for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of any information in this document nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Readers are advised to consult the professional for understanding applicability of this newsletter in the respective scenarios. While due care has been taken in preparing this document, the existence of mistakes and omissions herein is not ruled out. No part of this document should be distributed or copied (except for personal, non-commercial use) without our written permission.

(Author can be reached at Email: [email protected])

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