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New GST Rule: From Unbranded Rice & Flour to Packaged Food; Check What Will Become Expensive?

On Wednesday, the Council is expected to consider the demand for an extension of compensation granted to states for revenue lost as a result of their taxes, such as sales tax (VAT), being absorbed into a national GST, as well as a 28% tax on casinos, internet gambling, and horse racing.

Kritika Madhukar

On Tuesday, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council decided to fix several tax rates and withdraw some tax exemptions. A decision, which is being speculated as shifting towards a higher GST regime to get more income in the high inflation period is expected to hit demand.

The recommendations on tax rationalization made by 3 ministerial committees on gold and precious stones were accepted without any change, according to officials. 

Today, the Council will consider the demand from states such as Kerala and Delhi to prolong GST compensation beyond June, as well as the plan to apply a standard 28 percent tax rate on online gambling, horse racing, and casinos.

New GST: What Would Become Cheaper or More Expensive  

  • Pre-packaged and labeled food goods (excluding frozen) such as meat, fish, curd, paneer, and honey will henceforth be subject to a 5% GST.

  • If unbranded commodities such as flour and rice are pre-packaged and labeled, they will be subject to a 5% GST. Currently, only branded versions of these products are subject to 5% GST.

  • The amount that banks charge for issuing cheques would also be subject to GST.

  • Dry leguminous vegetables, dried makhana, wheat, and other cereals, wheat or meslin flour, jaggery, puffed rice (muri), all commodities, organic manure, and coir pith compost will now be taxed with 5% GST.

  • The GST rate on commodities such as printing, writing, and drawing ink, certain knives, spoons, tableware, dairy machines, LED lamps, and drawing tools will be raised from 12% to 18%.

  • Solar water heaters and polished leather are projected to have a 5% to 12 % tariff rise.

  • Unpacked, unlabeled, and unbranded goods will continue to be free from GST.

  • A 12% tax on hotel rooms under Rs.1,000 per day will be imposed, replacing the present tax exemption.

The GST Council also suggested that the inverted duty structure be corrected for a variety of commodities, including edible oil, coal, LED lights, printing/drawing ink, completed leather, and solar water heaters. 

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