GST rates decided on 1211 items, except gold

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In April, the Lok Sabha had passed Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill.

Addressing a news conference at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar after attending the 14th GST council meeting, Jaitley said, "It is for J&K and its assembly to decide what they want to do and I am sure they will take an appropriate decision".

As widely reported, essential items have either been kept out of the purview of the tax or assigned the lowest rate.

The cost of energy generation is likely to come down as the tax incidence on coal will come down to 5% from about 11% now.

The complete details will be available in the public domain after the said meeting concludes on Friday. He said J-K, which is the only state enjoying special taxation powers, will make necessary changes to pass the GST bill, which is billed as the biggest tax reform in the history of independent India.

Rates for household goods like soaps at 18 percent and durables such as cars at 28 percent.

While frozen meat will attract a GST of 12 per cent, Ayurvedic or homeopathy medicines, agarbatti, umbrella, electric vehicles and mobile phone manufacturing will be taxed at 12 per cent.

Some food items like coffee and edible oil will be taxed at a rate of 5 percent, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said.

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Commenting on the GST Council's deliberations, a senior tax analyst said the rates announced were along expected lines. Coal is now taxed at 11.69 per cent. "Another aspect encountered and accepted by most of the GST countries lies in the statistic that GST will be inflationary, especially if the effective tax rate is higher than what prevailed before".

The council finalised tax rates on 80-90 percent of items under the four-slab structure.

"Cereals will be in exempt list".

The council also approved most of the draft rules relating to the new tax that would push businesses to upgrade their infrastructure for filing tax returns under the new system. But what is to be done with packaged and branded food that has to be separately decided.

The Finance Minister said the GST is perhaps India's largest and most significant tax reform, the report added. "We are now part of the national policy making which will be recorded in the history", he said.

"Of several commodities, we have consciously brought down the tax".

"We are banking on hope that under GST, evasion will be checked and buoyancy will go up", the minister said.

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