Foodgrains to be cheaper under GST

A PTI report said that at the Council meeting, in which finance ministers of nearly all states were present, "80-90 percent" of goods and services have been fitted under the four tax slabs - 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent.

The first day of the two- day special session of the Odisha Assembly convened to discuss GST bill, today hit hurdles from the beginning with the Opposition seeking more time to go through contents of the Bills introduced by state Finance minister S B Behera.

Official sources said that 80-90 per cent of the items have been fitted in 5, 12, 18 or 28 per cent brackets. Further, a lower tax rate of 5% has been provided for essential items, and a higher tax rate of 28% has been provided for luxury goods. Find us on Facebook too! Daily-use items like sugar, tea, coffee (barring instant coffee) and edible oil will attract the lowest tax rate of 5%, nearly the same as current incidence. "Mithai" or candies will attract 5 per cent levy. Items like hair oil, toothpaste and soaps, which are now taxed at 28 per cent, will be taxed at 18 per cent under GST.

The meeting will be attended by Finance Ministers, Finance Secretaries and other taxation officials from all states and union territories. It seeks to replace multiple taxes and levies with a single nation-wide value-added tax, to be charged at the point of consumption.

Currently, there are 17 items in the negative list of services on which service tax is not levied. As soon as the meeting started, Jaitley informed the gathering about the sad demise of Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave who passed away today at the age of 60 at his residence in the national capital. Coal will be taxed at 5 percent along with a levy of Rs 400 per tonne.

Jaitley said the rates on the remaining items will be decided in the Council's meeting on Friday. However, with 12 or 18 per cent tax, services are expected to get more expensive. "We are yet to make a decision on that", he said.

He said the common people would have many benefits of the GST because it would decrease the cascading effect of taxes. "We are now in final stages of fixing tariffs for different commodities. That despite reduction the revenue neutrality and tax buoyancy thereafter would be maintained", he added.

  • Zachary Reyes