June 28, 2017

Pleasant weather GST Council Meet a plethora of doubts for J&K polity

20 May 2017, 12:16 | Taylor George

In case of hotels, those with tariff under Rs 1,000 would be exempt from GST regime and those with tariff of Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,000, the tax rate will be 18 percent.

Jaitley said tax on gold and precious metals will be taken up at the next meeting of the Council on June 3.

GST on services was the main item discussed at the GST meet today, he said, adding that most services tax exemptions will be grandfathered and they will continue. The GST Council on Thursday made good progress and categorised 80 to 90 per cent goods and services under the four tax slabs stipulated under the GST Act. It has been placed in the 18 per cent category, up from the existing 15 per cent that the telecom industry complained would make services pricier for subscribers.

Daily-use items like sugar, tea, coffee (barring instant coffee) and edible oil will attract the lowest tax rate of 5 per cent, nearly the same as current incidence.

The hospitality industry in India is perturbed and irked by a 28 percent tax to be imposed under the Good and Services Tax (GST) on hotels, where the tariff is above Rs 5,000.

"The net effect of Goods and Services Tax will not be inflationary", Jaitley told reporters after a meeting of the GST Council in Srinagar, summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir state.

Prices of foodgrains, especially wheat and rice, will come down as they will be exempt from the GST. Daily-use items like sugar, tea, coffee (barring instant coffee), edible oil and life-saving drugs will attract the lowest tax rate of 5 per cent, nearly the same as current incidence.

Aerated drinks and cars will be in 28% bracket. "We hope we don't have to use the weapon (of anti-profiteering authority)", he said.

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There will, however, be no tax on services like healthcare and education, which will be exempt from GST.

"The Council may meet again if final rates are not decided tomorrow (Friday)".

Staying in five-star hotels will, however, be costlier in Karnataka as the new GST proposed a 28% levy, while the state government taxed these luxury hotels only at 21%. Most of the states in the country have already passed the state GST bills.

"The tax burden has not increased in any commodity".

The GST Council on Friday finalised tax rates for services under the GST regime, scheduled to be rolled out from July 1.

While a range of other goods and services are kept under the 18 per cent slab along with financial transactions.

Service tax on non-AC hotels will be 12% on AC hotels and those serving liquor will be 18%.

Most personal care products will be taxed at 28% except hair oil, soaps and toothpaste, whose tax rate is 18%.

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