GST RATES ON GOODS
The GST Council, headed by Jaitley and of which all states Finance Ministers are members, has approved four main tax slabs – 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% that aims to lower tax incidence on essential items and to keep the highest rate for luxury and demerits goods. The lowest rate of 5% will be on items of mass consumption which are used particularly by common people. The second and third category of standard rates of 12 and 18% will accommodate most of the goods and services. The fourth slab of 28% is levied mainly on white goods such as refrigerators, washing machines, etc.
Under GST, the government has fixed GST rates on 1,211 goods and 500 services in the range of 5 to 28%. Certain items such as alcohol, petrol, diesel and natural gas will be exempt under the GST. In addition to these, the GST Council has also classified certain items under the 0% tax rate, implying that GST will not be levied on them. This list includes items of daily use such as wheat, rice, milk, eggs, fresh vegetables, meat, fish, sindoor, bindi, stamps, judicial papers, printed books, newspapers, bangles, handloom, bones and horn cores, bone grist, bone meal, kajal, children's' picture, drawing or colouring books, human hair, etc.
Some services such as education, healthcare, hotels and lodges with tariff below Rs 1,000, grandfathering service have also been kept out of the GST purview. Rough precious and semi-precious stones will, however, attract GST rate of 0.25%.