In a historic move of cutting down tax rates on commodities and goods, the GST Council has slashed down rates on a host of items including chocolates, chewing gum, shampoo, deodorant, shoe polish, detergents, nutrition drinks, marble and cosmetics.
According to a report by the Economic Times, Bihar finance minister Sushil Modi said, "Only 50 items to face 28% rate." On the sidelines of the meeting held in Guwahati, he said, "There were 227 items in the 28% slab. The fitment committee had recommended that it should be pruned to 62 items. But the GST Council has further pruned to more items. Now all types of chewing gum, chocolates, preparation for women cosmetics, shaving and after-shave items, deodorants, washing powder detergent and granite and marble. All these items have been put in the 18% category."
Citing unanimity in the decision, Modi said that almost all the participants in the meeting agreed that the 28% category should have only sin and demerit goods. He said, "So, today the GST Council took a historic decision, that in the 28% slab there will be only 50 items and the remaining items have been brought down to 18%."
It has been decided that paints, cement be retained in the 28% category, along with luxury goods such as washing machine and air conditioners. However, mass consumption items have been lowered to the 18% tax slab. The minister, however, said that this will have a great revenue implication and that the aim of the council to reduce all the products to the 18% category will take some time.
According to a report by the Times of India, the GST was implemented from July 1 and has five tax slabs 0 per cent, 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent and 28 per cent. The report also suggested that the GST Council will have to face a revenue implication of Rs 20,000 crore annually. Modi also said, "It was important the system under GST regime stabilises as only four months were remaining for the close of the current financial year."