Wanna get our awesome news?

Subscribe to our newsletter!


Actually we won’t spam you and keep your personal data secure

As the voice of the Indian restaurant industry, we represent the interests of 500000+ restaurants & an industry valued @ USD 4 billion. Whether a chain or independent restaurant, the NRAI is here to help every step of the way. Join us!


Bread, Prasad & Blood Out of GST Net


New Delhi: Salt, bread, fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, milk, curd, blood (yes blood, the hu-man kind), prasad (the sacred kind), the national flag, kumkum, bindi-sindoor, glass bangles, even contraceptives — all these will continue to enjoy a tax-free run under the proposed goods and services tax (GST) regime. A few essential services will also escape the levy under the new regime that the government wants to roll out from April 1 next year.

All the same, the list of exempted items that will be thrashed out by state and central government officials shortly after the rate structure is finalised will be getting shorter.

“The exemption list is to be pruned,” said a government official outlining the broad principle that will be followed in deciding what doesn’t get taxed under GST. But “those items that are exempted under value added tax will likely remain out of the tax net.” This includes the items listed above. The exemptions are aimed at making sure that the common man isn’t subjected to tax shock.


States, Centre officials to work out exempted list of items

Key food items, services to be kept out of tax net
Those items that do not face VAT may be kept out
Some items that do not attract excise duty also to go tax free

> Bread, milk, curd, salt, fresh veggies and fruits to go tax free
> Bindi, sindoor, prasad sold at temples
> Human blood, contraceptives Primary healthcare, education

Shortening the list will ensure that the tax base is broadened.
“The list of exempted items can-not be very long but those that are considered of common essential use would be kept out,” the official said, adding that some of the services of this nature would also be included.

Exempted items won’t however be eligible for input tax credit. Many sectors, therefore, want to be included in the GST net but zero-rated, which means they’ll be eligible for input tax credit but untaxed.

After the rates are endorsed by the GST Council headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, it will decide on exemptions and what items go into which tax bracket.

The Centre has proposed five alternatives to a four-rate slab including a separate levy of 4 % for precious metals. The rates proposed are 5-7 % at the threshold level and 10-19 % at the standard rate level. The Centre’s preference is for 6 1)/0 , 12 % , 18 % and 26% but the council will take a call on the framework at its next meeting on November 3-4. The minister said on Wednesday that a consensus is close on the matter.

Jaitley has already made it cle-ar that the effort will be to keep the exercise tax neutral and fit items into tax brackets that are similar to the levies on them now There could still be differences depending on the bracket but even if these are on the higher si-de that should be more than off-set by seamless input tax credit.

GST seeks to replace multiple central and state taxes on goods and services such as excise duty, service tax, value added tax, entry tax, purchase tax with one levy and create a seamless national market.

Eschew Exemptions
Exemptions are distortio-nary, clutter the tax system and should be kept at the minimum. A common ex-emption list for states and the Centre makes sense. The need is to widen the tax base to include large chunks of the economy in the new tax system. As the Subramanian panel rightly pointed out pruning ex-emptions under GST will complement a similar effort already announced for corporate taxes, making for a much cleaner tax system.

Source: Economic Times

Recommended for you