Maharashtra Assembly clears GST bill, finance minister says it will strengthen states

"Consumer stocks are gaining on the back of GST tax rates, which have been broadly in favour of FMCG stocks", said Dharmesh Kant, head of Retail Research at Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd. "In the existing tax regime, the cinema exhibition sector was exempted from service tax and state VAT, and entertainment tax was the only tax imposed on cinema tickets by states and local bodies".

From July 1, foodgrains, cereals and milk would cost less as the GST Council chose to exempt these daily-use commodities from the levy. These should be finalised by the start of July, which is the deadline for the introduction of the GST, a direct tax on the supply of goods and services valid for the whole country. This will translate into a slight drop in prices of luxury cars in India.

On May 19, the GST Council - nodal agency for all GST related issues - headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley fixed tax rates for different goods under the five-tier tax regime in the range of 0-28 per cent.

Cars with wheelbase above 4-metre will be taxed 28 percent, and an additional 15 percent cess will be charged.

Currently, the tax structure for SUVs and cars with 1.5-litres or more are subject to 41.5 to 44.5 percent taxes.

Additionally, fireworks, wash basins, articles of artificial fur, artificial flowers, wigs, razor blades, cutlery, air conditioners, refrigerators, storage water heaters, dish washers, photocopy machines, fax machines, insulated copper wires, cars, wrist watches, revolvers, pistols, cigarette lighters and smoking pipes, among others, will attract the highest slab. "The focus on improving ease of doing business through measures like GST and other taxation reforms has also been noted as one of the major achievements of the NDA Government", said the chamber President Mr Sandeep Jajodia.

The GST Council at its 14th meeting held in Srinagar on Friday announced the fitment of services, as well as of 1,211 goods in the GST tax rates, heading towards the proposed July 1 roll-out.

"The implementation of GST in the next few weeks would cap other major initiatives of the government".

  • Zachary Reyes