The GST Council meet is currently underway in Guwahati with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at its helm. The Council is likely to reduce tax rates on over 100 items which account to almost 80% of the total goods and services in the highest 28% slab rate under the new GST regime.
So, come Saturday, you can expect to dine at an AC restaurant with lower expenses or purchase daily use items including shampoo, plastic ware ranging from sanitary ware made of plastic to other plastic goods or furniture items which are handmade at a lower cost. Electric switches also attract a 28% tax levy under GST. Earlier the GoM had recommended dining services at AC restaurants to be levied a GST rate of 12% instead of the current 18%.
As per the current standards, GST slots goods and services under four slabs of 5%, 12%, 18% and the highest 28%.
Currently furniture of all kinds attract a GST of 28%. For wooden furniture which is handmade by artisans and is generally used by middle income group there has been constant demand to reduce tax incidence. For the sanitary ware made of plastic, GST @ 28% is being charged while some other plastic goods attract a standard GST rate of 18%.
So, with the expected rate cut some 62 items shall remain in the highest slab rate of 28%. These could be digital cameras, paints and varnishes, shaving creams, pan masala, chocolates, cigars, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, hair conditioning items, hair dyes, marble and granite among others.
Rationalisation of tax impact due to new GST regime shall also be brought about in respect of some of the SME sectors which in the previous indirect regime were at an advantage due to the product being exempt from excise or a lower VAT rate.
As a further respite to small businesses, the Council is expected to allow quarterly filing of return instead of monthly returns to ease the compliance process.