GST rates reduced to 18% from 28 % in 178 items

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Apart from slashing taxes on mass consumption items like shampoo, chocolates, etc. from 28 per cent to 18 per cent, the council fixed a flat rate of 5 per cent for the restaurants that do not claim Input Tax Credit across air conditioned and non-air conditioned facilities.

Addressing a press conference at the end of the GST Council meet, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the Council over the months has been pruning items in the 28 per cent list.

Guwahati: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday announced that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has chose to slash tax slabs for 178 items from 28 percent to 18 percent.

The senior Congress Party leader took to twitter and said "Expect a shower of changes in GST rates from GST Council meeting today". All the new GST rates will come into effect from November 15 next. As expected earlier, the all-powerful council agreed to slash GST rates on restaurant bills from 18 per cent to 5 per cent.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that recommendations made by the GST Council will benefit citizens and add strength to the tax structure.

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The GST council meeting was attended by chief minister of Puducherry, deputy chief ministers of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Delhi and finance ministers of rest of the states barring those from the poll-bound Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

Businesses with annual turnover up to Rs. 1 crore can opt for the composition scheme, which enables them to pay tax at a flat rate without input credits.

Only 50 products, including luxury and sin items, white goods, cement and paints, automobiles, aeroplane and yacht parts have been retained in the top 28 per cent slab. Outdoor catering will attract 18 per cent GST with input tax credit benefits.

The Congress had demanded a cap of 18 per cent for all taxes under the Goods and Services Tax regime.

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