Setting the stage for the roll-out of the Goods and Services Tax, the GST Council today finalised the rates of taxation on the last six items. With this, the council completed the work of bringing all items under the four-slab GST structure.
Last month, during its meeting in Srinagar, the Arun Jaitley-headed GST Council had decided the tax rates of more than 1,000 products.
Of the remaining six items, the GST Council decided today that gold will be taxed at 5 per cent, beedis at 28 per cent while footwear and apparelÂ will attract levies of at least 5 per cent.
GST RATES FINALISED: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
Addressing reporters after today’s meeting, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “Gold, which currently has an excise of 1 per cent and states charge around 1 per cent VAT…keeping these various taxes in mind, and after a lot of debate in the GST Council, we have finally reached a consensus on 3 per cent for gold and gold jewellery.” Rough diamonds will see a nominal 0.25 tax in order “to keep the audit trail” of transactions, Jaitley added.
While beedi leaf, or “tendu” will be taxed at 18 per cent, beedis will be levied tax at 28 per cent. Unlike cigarettes, beedis will not attract any additional cess. Footwear costing below Rs 500 will be taxed at 5 per cent, while those costing more will attract 18 per cent tax. Manufactured apparel costing less than Rs 1,000 would be taxed at 5 per cent.
Jaitley said the council debated extensively on taxing textiles since it is an item of mass consumption. Natural fibres, including cotton, will be taxed at 5 per cent while “man-made” fibre will see a levy of 18 per cent. The GST rate on yarn will be 5 per cent, subject to “man-made” versions being taxed at 18 per cent. “Fabric of all categories will have 5 per cent tax, while for ‘made-up apparel’ it will be 12 per cent,” Jaitley said.
Packaged food items that are sold under registered trademarks will carry a 5 per cent GST rate, as these products are sold for a much higher price than food, Jaitley also said. Biscuits, both of cheaper and more expensive varieties, will be taxed at 18 per cent.
At the meeting, the GST Network (GSTN) made a detailed presentation on their IT preparedness for to implement the new tax regime from July 1. “Members questioned the GSTN extensively on their level of preparations and the GSTN expressed confidence it is fully ready for the work assigned to it,” Jaitley said.
The GST Council is scheduled to meet again on June 11 in New Delhi. The council is expected to take up pending matters, including some representations received by it on the current schedule of rates.
All states, barring West Bengal, today agreed to roll out the Goods and Services Tax regime by July 1. Earlier this week, West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra had voiced serious doubts about the preparedness of the industry for GST by July 1.
Mitra continued to voice his apprehension after today’s meeting saying, “Entire GST will depend on one IT system of GSTN. The presentation was given by them clearly shows that they are not ready and need more time. They have appointed 34 Suvidha providers for the whole country, will that be sufficient.”
“We are not opposing GST. We support it. But the July 1 deadline should be extended. There should be more meetings, discussions,” Mitra added. When questioned about the doubts raised by West Bengal, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said: “the others did not share that view.”
17 Apr 2021
18 Apr 2021