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Centre slashes GST on 178 mass use items

GST council meet in guwahati undertakes comprehensive review

BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Nov 10: The Centre on Friday slashed tax rate on a wide range of mass use items –from chewing gums to detergents – to 18 per cent from existing 28 per cent, a move expected to provide much needed relief to consumers after rollout of GST regime on July 1 this year.
The 2-day long 23rd GST Council meeting held at Radisson Blue, a five star hotel in the city, which concluded on Friday evening – slashed tax rate on 178 mass use items from high tax slab (28 per cent) to low tax slab (18 per cent). Besides, the meeting also decided to reduce the tax slab of various other items.
Addressing a press conference at the end of the GST Council meet, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the Council over the months has been pruning items in the 28 per cent list. Bulk of the goods in the 28 per cent tax slab has been brought down to 18 per cent bracket. He said that 178 items have been brought down from the 28 per cent to 18 per cent category. Two items have been brought to the tax slab of 12 per cent from 28 per cent. Friday’s GST Council meet, only 50 items will now remain under the highest tax slab of 28 per cent.
“Tax rate on 13 items has been reduced from 18 per cent to 12 per cent, while tax rates have been reduced to 5 per cent on six items from 18 per cent. Tax rate on 8 items has decreased from 12 to 5 per cent. Besides, tax rate on 6 items have been lowered to zero from 5 per cent,” Jaitley said, adding that detergent, marble floorings, toiletries among mass use items have been shifted to 18 per cent tax bracket from 28 per cent.
The GST Meeting also decided that there will no benefit of input tax credit for restaurants. All restaurants will be levied GST at 5 per cent, without input tax credit benefits. Hotels within five-star restaurants (room rent above Rs 7,500) will attract 18 per cent with ITC benefits. Outdoor catering will attract 18 per cent GST with input tax credit benefits.
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.
The GST Council also decided that taxpayers with annual aggregate turnover up to Rs 1.5 crore need to file GSTR-1 on quarterly basis, while taxpayers with turnover above Rs 1.5 crore need to file GSTR-1 on monthly basis.
A large number of taxpayers were unable to file their returns in FORM GSTR-3B within due date for the months of July, August and September, 2017.Late fee was waived in all such cases, the council said.
Exports of services to Nepal and Bhutan have already been exempted from GST. It has now been decided that such exporters will also be eligible for claiming Input Tax Credit in respect of goods or services used for effecting such tax exempt supply of services to Nepal and Bhutan.