Guwahati, November 10: The Goods and Services Tax Council on Friday may consider lowering the tax rates on over 200 daily-use items like shampoo, sanitary ware, handmade furniture, plastic products among others. The rates of these commonly used items are expected to come down from 28% to 18%. The 23rd meeting of GST Council is scheduled to be convened today in Guwahati, Assam and will be headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Today’s meeting will be deliberating on the impact on the small scale industry, exemption to small traders and issues related to maximum retail price (MRP). At today’s meeting, a decision could also be taken on lowering of tax rates food served in restaurants. The Council is also expected to offer more relief to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in terms of compliance burden.

List of items expected to become cheaper:

  1. Rates on over 200 daily-use items are expected to come down from 28 per cent to 18 per cent at the GST Council meet today.
  2. Items that are likely to see slash in tax rates are those used in every households, including handmade furniture, sanitary ware, suitcase, wall paper, plywood, stationery articles, watch, play instruments, among others.
  3. Kitchen appliances and furniture from 28 percent to 18 percent, Tailoring Job work from 18 % to 5 %.
  4. Furnishing items, sanitary wear, and electrical switch tax may be reducing to 18% from the current 28 % slab.
  5. Refrigerator, Washing machines, and other consumer durable items may also get relief (28% to 18%), Shoes above Rs.1000 and leather bags may get some relief.
  6. Reports state that the GST Council may also consider bringing down tax rate on food served in restaurants. This could make dining out cheaper. Currently, GST is levied at 12 per cent on non-AC restaurants, while it is 18 per cent for air-conditioned ones.
  7. The panel had also recommended lowering tax rates for manufacturers and restaurants under the composition scheme to 1 per cent. At present, while manufacturers pay GST at 2 per cent, the rate for restaurants is 5 per cent. Traders currently pay 1 per cent.

Around 200 participants are expected to attend the meeting. Finance Ministers of  24 states,  including the Chief Minister of Puducherry will also be participating in the 23rd GST Council Meeting in Guwahati today.  In the previous meetings, the GST Council has slashed rates on over 100 items since the new indirect tax regime was introduced on July 1, 2017, thereby bringing them down either from 28 percent to 18 per cent, or from 18 per cent to 12 percent. “We have been gradually bringing them down. The whole idea is as your revenue collections neutralise, we must prune it and that`s the pattern in which the Council has so far been functioning. I see that as a future guide as far as the Council is concerned,” Jaitley said.