Guwahati, Nov 10: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said that a universal rate of 5 percent will be levied on all restaurants, except five star restaurants. Presently, the non-AC and AC restaurants are charged at the rate of 12 percent and 18 per cent respectively. Jaitley said the rates will be applicable from November 15.

Jaitley said the council has also decided to bring down tax rates from 28 per cent to 18 per cent on 177 items. Jaitley added that the GST council decided in its 23rd meeting that rates on 13 items will be brought down from 18 per cent to 12 per cent. Similarly, 6 items were moved from tax bracket of 18 percent to 5 per cent.

Addressing the media persons, Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said filing of return for 3B will be continued until March. All taxpayers will continue to file 3B till March 2018. Adhia added that if there is a nil return to be filed then late filing penalty will be reduced to Rs 20. For others it has been reduced to Rs 50

Earlier, Commodities of daily use like washing powder, aftershave cream, detergent, chocolate got cheaper as the GST Council has decided to keep only 50 items in the top tax bracket of 28 per cent. The decision was taken at a ‘close-door’ meeting of GST Council in Guwahati on Friday.

The changes in GST slabs come amid complaints from traders across the country that the new tax regime has added to their burden.