Jaitley hails GST as 'efficient tax system to curb evasion'

With just a month left for the GST regime to kick in, the revenue department has started a new twitter handle to answer industry queries pertaining to the new indirect tax regime. The GST Council had clubbed commodities under seven categories of taxes - zero per cent, 5%, 12%, 18%, 28%, a special category and a luxury items category.

After a recent two-day meeting of the GST Council headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Srinagar, new tax rates on goods and services has been announced.

The "revolutionary" Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill was passed by the Himachal Pradesh State Assembly on Saturday, further paving the way for its roll out on July 1.

Among the goods, mass consumption items like fresh fruits, vegetables, pulses, bread and milk have been exempt from any taxes, and the same holds true for services like health and education.

While electrically operated 2/3 wheeler vehicles will also see a decline in taxes from 14 percent to 12 percent, solar panels could see a steep hike in tax rates to 18 percent from the present 0-5 percent.

Cost of packaged cement is expected to ease as the tax rate will come down to 28% from the existing 31%.

The GST Bills comprises of four bills - Central Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017, Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017, Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017, and Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to the States) Bill 2017. This rate will apply to cab aggregators like Ola and Uber as well as those who now pay 6 percent tax. Coordination between taxation authority of the Centre and the states is also important.

For solar modules the new tax is an increase from zero now.

The new GST is taking effect from July 1. On restaurants having AC or liquor licence, the tax would be 18 percent.

  • Zachary Reyes