Addressing the media after the 37th GST Council meeting on Friday, 20 September, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the GST rate on caffeinated beverages has been raised from 18 percent to 28 percent along with a 12 percent compensation cess.
Meanwhile, tax rates on hotel tariffs have been reduced. While the hotel tariffs above Rs 7,500 will attract an 18 percent GST rate (down from 28 percent), it would be 12 percent for tariffs between Rs 1,000 and Rs 7,500 (down from 18 percent).
There would be no GST on hotel tariffs below Rs 1,000. Sitharaman also said that tax rates for outdoor catering have been reduced from 18 percent to 5 percent.
“GST rate on slide fasteners has been reduced from 18 percent to 12 percent, marine fuel from 18 percent to 5 percent, from 12 percent to 5 percent on wet grinders consisting of stone as a grinder, and 5 percent to nil on dried tamarind.”Nirmala Sitharaman, as quoted by ANI
The council also cut tax rates on job work in diamond industry to 1.5 percent from 5 percent, Reuters reported.
“Exemption from GST/IGST is being given on import of specified defence goods not being manufactured indigenously, it's being extended only up to 2024. The supply of goods and services to FIFA, and other specified persons, are also exempted for U-17 Women's World Cup in India,” Sitharaman added.
Council Meeting Comes Amid Slowdown Concerns
The GST Council, headed by Nirmala Sitharaman and comprising representatives of all states and Union Territories (UTs), held its 37th meeting in Goa in the backdrop of economic growth hitting a six-year low of 5 percent for the first quarter of the current fiscal.
Earlier on Friday, Sitharaman also announced a cut on corporate tax rates in a bid to boost growth.
There have been demands pouring in from various sectors – from biscuits to automobiles and FMCG to hotels – to reduce tax rates in the wake of economic slowdown.
The argument propagated has been to boost the consumption and domestic demand by reducing Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates further.
(With inputs from PTI.)