The GST tax rate in India has been approved by the GST council on Thursday for four main tax slabs 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% under a proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST). There would be two standard rates of 12 per cent and 18 per cent, which would fall on the bulk of the goods and services; this includes fast-moving consumer goods.
Half of the items in the consumer price index would not be taxed at all to safeguard the interests of the poor, Jaitley said after the meeting of the GST council.
Most services are expected to become costlier as the ones being taxed currently at the rate of 15 per cent are likely to be put in the 18-per cent slab. The services being taxed at lower rates, owing to the provision of abatement, such as train tickets, will fall in the lower slabs.
The highest slab of 28 per cent will include white goods and all those items on which the current rate of incidence varies from 30-31 per cent. The rider has been set as there are several items which are used by the lower middle class.
A decision has also been taken to levy a cess in order to raise funds to compensate states for the revenue losses they will incur. However, it is clarified that the cess, to be applicable on luxury cars, tobacco, aerated drinks etc, is not an additional levy, but an existing one and it is not shared with the states.
Demerit goods or sin goods such as luxury cars, pan masala, aerated drinks, and tobacco and tobacco products, will invite a tax of 28 percent plus the cess. There has been no consensus yet on the tax rate for gold.
Earlier this month, the panel had decided that base year for calculating the revenue of a state would be 2015-16 and sustained growth rate of 14 per cent would be taken for calculating the likely revenue of each state in the first five years of implementation of GST.