7 things that are cheaper after GST
Effective July 1, goods and services tax, the most elusive piece of legislation in India for the better part of two decades (the idea was first mooted by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 2000), has finally come into force. For those of you who happen to have heard of the term but don’t exactly know what it means, GST is a comprehensive, multi stage, destination-based tax that will be levied on every stage of value addition. It is an indirect tax that replaces the previously levied Central and State indirect taxes (not direct), and makes the country a unified market (on paper, at least).
Hundreds of countries in the world levy GST and they usually have a single standard tax rate. India, however, given its complicated socio-economic structure, has decided to categorize goods sold and services provided under tax slabs of 0, 5, 12, 18 and 28%. It is expected to reduce the cascading burden of taxes on the end consumer, increase tax compliance, increase the country’s GDP, attract greater foreign investment and bring Hitler back to life just so we can kill him again. Consequently, depending on the aforementioned tax slabs they’re placed under, goods (and services) are going to get cheaper or costlier than before.
Assuming you’re reading this in the AM and considering how torturous mornings can be, here we take a look at a few things that are going to get cheaper, courtesy GST.
EATABLES like milk powder, curd, dairy spreads, spices, cheese (yass), pasta, noodles, fruits and vegetables, biscuits, biscuits etcetera. Milk, Lassi, Salt, unbranded and not packed honey and cottage cheese have been put under the 0% slab, which is bound to spread a few smiles around. We heard you were looking to stock up on those late night snacks? What’re you waiting for?
ITEMS of DAILY — USE like toiletries (most of them), tea, footwear (<500 rupees), apparels (<1000), domestic LPG, PDS Kerosene etc are put under the 5% slab. Too bad you’ll have to shower more frequently now that the “body-wash is too expensive and mustn’t be wasted” excuse won’t stand a chance in front of the mother.
STATIONERY! Remember all those fancy pens and pretty colourful notebooks you didn’t need but wanted to buy? Now might be a good time to indulge in them.
FLIGHT TICKETS will cost less now, at least economy. Business class will cost more than before.
CAB RIDES will levy a tax of 5% down from 6%. A marginal decrease but hey, we’ll take it.
ELECTRONICS like geysers, mobile phones, UPS, generators etc are placed under 12% and will get cheaper.
RESTAURANTS are a little tricky. Small restaurants will levy a 5% tax. Bigger ones will attract a tax of 12 or 18%, depending on conditions like whether they’re air conditioned and/or serve liquor. At the end of the day, though, eating out is expected to be cheaper; not necessarily a good thing for all of us trying to get that summer body (never too late to get it, right?).
In case you’re still confused (we can’t blame you) and want to check out the tax rates for different commodities, the CBCE (Central Board of Customs and Excise) has come out with an app for Android that lets you do that. It’s called ‘GST Rate Finder’ and the iOs version is slated to be released soon.
All things said and done and all intricacies and confusion set aside, GST is indeed a huge step forward for the nation, one that we should all be proud of. It might not be perfect, but we’re getting there.