GST has been structured in a way that essential services and food items are placed in the lower tax brackets, while luxury services and products have been placed in the higher tax bracket.
The GST council has fitted over 1300 goods and 500 services under four tax slabs of 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% under GST. This is aside the tax on gold that is kept at 3% and rough precious and semi-precious stones that are placed at a special rate of 0.25% under GST.
A total of 81% of all the goods and services fall below or in the 18% tax slab. This means 7 % of the items come under the exempted list, 14% of the items attract a 5% tax, 17% of the items attract a 12% tax, and 43% of the items attract an 18 % tax slab, while only 19% of the items fall under the highest slab of 28% in the new regime. Below is a list of some of the products that will be a part of the respective slabs:
Exempted GST Rate Slab (No Tax)
7% goods and services fall under this category. Some of these that are of regular consumption include fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, butter milk, curd, natural honey, flour, besan, bread, all kinds of salt, jaggery, hulled cereal grains, fresh meat, fish, chicken, eggs, along with bindi, sindoor, kajal, bangles, drawing and coloring books, stamps, judicial papers, printed books, newspapers, jute and handloom, hotels and lodges with tariff below INR 1000 and so on.
5% GST Rate Slab
14% goods and services fall under this category. Some of these include apparel below INR 1000 and footwear below INR 500, packaged food items, cream, skimmed milk powder, branded paneer, frozen vegetables, coffee, tea, spices, pizza bread, rusk, sabudana, cashew nut, cashew nut in shell, raisin, ice, fish fillet, kerosene, coal, medicine, agarbatti (incense sticks), postage or revenue stamps, fertilizers, rail and economy class air tickets, small restaurants, and so on.
12% GST Rate Slab
Edibles like frozen meat products, butter, cheese, ghee, dry fruits in packaged form, animal fat, sausages, fruit juices, namkeen, ketchup & sauces, ayurvedic medicines, all diagnostic kits and reagents, cellphones, spoons, forks, tooth powder, umbrella, sewing machine, spectacles, indoor games like playing cards, chess board, carom board, ludo, apparels above INR 1000, non-AC restaurants, business class air ticket, state-run lottery, work contracts and so on attract a 12% GST. 17% of goods and services fall under this category.
18% GST Rate Slab
43% of goods and services fall under this category. Pasta, biscuits, cornflakes, pastries and cakes, preserved vegetables, jams, soups, ice cream, mayonnaise, mixed condiments and seasonings, mineral water, footwear costing more than INR 500, camera, speakers, monitors, printers, electrical transformer, optical fiber, tissues, sanitary napkins, notebooks, steel products, headgear and its parts, aluminum foil, bamboo furniture, AC restaurants that serve liquor, restaurants in five-star and luxury hotels, telecom services, IT services, branded garments and financial services and so on attract an 18% GST.
28% GST Rate Slab
19% of goods and services fall under this category. The rest of edibles like chewing gum, bidi, molasses, chocolate not containing cocoa, waffles and wafers coated with chocolate, pan masala, aerated water, personal care items like deodorants, shaving creams, after shave, hair shampoo, dye, sunscreen, paint, water heater, dishwasher, weighing machine, washing machine, vacuum cleaner, automobiles, motorcycles, 5-star hotel stays, race club betting, private lottery and movie tickets above INR 100 etc. have been clubbed together under the 28% GST slab.
Some other items that will get costlier also include:
- Courier services, mobile phone tariffs, Mobile bills, tuition fees, salon visits, insurance premiums, banking charges, broadband services will get costlier by 3%. These were earlier charged a 15% service tax, and will now fall under 18% tax slab.
- Taxes on aerated drinks, tobacco and luxury goods will now come under the 28 percent tax bracket under GST, so it will get costlier.
- Real Estate will also get expensive as it will now attract a GST of 12% as opposed to 6%.