GST goes easy on Food, Drop in tax rates

The recent GST rate shuffle has dropped down from the previous rates for many food items. In its last meeting at Assam, the Goods and Services Tax Council decided to slash the GST rates of as many as 178 items. Apart from slashing the rates down, there is also a section which has got zero GST rate.

Food and edibles like cocoa, chocolate, non alcoholic beverages and wafers has been shifted from the earlier 28% to 18%. This has been the most rate cut than other food items by 10 percent.

Diabetic food has shifted itself from 18% to 12 % tax slab. Other food items like refined sugar, condensed milk, pasta and curry pasta has also been moved to 12% tax bracket. Handicrafts furniture made of bamboo or crane, knitted hats , jute and cotton handbags are also included in this list.

Eating out has been made cheaper, with a drop from 18% to 12 % to 5%.  All the restaurants will be taxed at 5%, without input tax credit (ITC) benefits. Five-star restaurants within starred-hotels with room rent above Rs. 7,500 will attract 18 per cent and can still avail ITC benefits, the council said. Outdoor catering will attract 18 per cent GST with input tax credit benefits.

Food such as dried vegetables and sweet potato , died or froze fish and coconut shells has attracted nil taxes from earlier 5%.

These revisions in rates are called before the Gujarat poll assembly. This shift is expected to reduce prices and increase consumption and thereby bring growth for the consumer products and retail industry. However The top tax rate of 28 per cent will now be levied on goods like pan masala, aerated water and beverages, cigars and cigarettes, tobacco products, cement, paints, perfumes, ACs, dish washing machine, washing machine, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, cars and two-wheelers, aircraft and yachts.


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