The Goods and Services Tax Council on Friday lowered tax rates on 178 items from 28% to 18%, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after the council’s 23rd meeting in Guwahati. The panel also decided to move 13 items from the 18% tax slab to 12%, another six from 18% to 5% and eight items from 12% to the 5% tax slab. Six other items have been moved from the 5% slab to nil.
Most goods under the 28% slab earlier, except demerit goods, will now be taxed lower, leaving just 50 items in the highest slab. Chocolate, chewing gum, aftershave, beauty products, powder, detergent and marble will now be levied 18% under the GST.
Eating out will also become cheaper, as all restaurants – whether air-conditioned or not – will charge GST of 5%.
The changes will come into effect from November 15, Jaitley said.
The GST Council has been meeting every month since the new tax regime came into effect on July 1. The GST Council is headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.