As part of a proposed rate rationalisation under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime to bolster revenues, the GST Council, the governing body for the indirect tax regime, has sought views of states for hiking rates on 143 items.
These items include papad, gur (jaggery), power banks, watches, suitcases, handbags, perfumes/deodorants, colour TV sets (below 32 inches), chocolates, chewing gums, walnuts, custard powder, non-alcoholic beverages, ceramic sinks, wash basins, goggles, frames for spectacles/goggles and apparel and clothing accessories of leather, sources said.
Of these 143 items, 92 per cent are proposed to be shifted from the 18 per cent tax slab to the top 28 per cent slab.
Many of these proposed rate changes mark a reversal of the rate cut decisions taken by the Council in November 2017 and December 2018, in the run-up to the 2019 general elections.
Rates for items such as perfumes, leather apparel and accessories, chocolates, cocoa powder, beauty or make-up preparations, fireworks, floor coverings of plastics, lamps, sound recording apparatus, and armoured tanks were reduced in the November 2017 meeting held in Guwahati — and are now proposed to be hiked again. Similarly, GST rates for items such as colour TV sets and monitors (below 32 inches), digital and video camera recorders, power banks were reduced in the December 2018 meeting and may now get reversed.
GST rates for items such as papad and gur (jaggery) may move from zero to the 5 per cent tax slab. Leather apparel and accessories, wrist watches, razors, perfumes, pre-shave/after-shave preparations, dental floss, chocolates, waffles, cocoa powder, extracts and concentrates of coffee, non-alcoholic beverages, handbags/shopping bags, along with house construction items of ceramic sinks, wash basins, plywood, doors, windows, electrical apparatus (switches, sockets etc) may see the GST rate being hiked to 28 per cent from 18 per cent.
GST rate for walnuts may get increased to 12 per cent from 5 per cent, for custard powder to 18 per cent from 5 per cent and for table and kitchenware of wood to 18 per cent from 12 per cent.
In the Guwahati meeting in 2017, the highest GST bracket was slashed 75 per cent with only 50 items being retained in the 28 per cent slab, and 178 items being moved out from the list of 228 along with a rate reduction for restaurants. The estimates for the revenue …….