Thursday, November 23, 2017

GST Council prunes list of items in 28% slab

Now, only 50 items will attract the highest tax rate of 28%

By Preeti Kulkarni

End-consumers bearing the brunt of high GST rates can now heave a sigh of relief.

Only 50 items will attract the highest tax rate of 28% now, with the GST Council moving nearly 175 items to the lower slab.

The council, which met on Friday to take a call on widely expected relief measures ahead of the crucial Gujarat polls, agreed to shift mass consumption products like shampoos, deodorants, washing powder, detergent and shaving items into the 18% bracket.

"This is a crucial decision considering India has very high tax slab of 28% excluding cess. In future, we may expect that government will further slash tax rates by moving from 4-tier tax slabs to fewer slabs or even single GST rate," Vishal Raheja, DGM, Taxmann.

Concerns around transmission of these benefits, however, persist. " The government should ensure that the benefit of the rate reduction goes to the consumers. It appears that after this mass rate reduction various anti-profiteering problems may kickoff for businesses which would not pass on the benefit to the consumers," cautioned Abhishek Rastogi, partner, Khaitan & Co.

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