GST: All Restaurants to Come Under 5% Tax Bracket, Says Jaitley
The Central GST Bill approved by the Lok Sabha is different from the draft version - Model GST Law - released months ago.
The Central GST Bill approved by the Lok Sabha is different from the draft version - Model GST Law - released months ago. (Photo: Abhilash Mallick/The Quint)

GST: All Restaurants to Come Under 5% Tax Bracket, Says Jaitley

The GST Council met in Guwahati on 10 November and decided to move a number of items from the 28 percent tax slab to lower tax slabs. The Council also announced that all the restaurants will now be moved to the 5 percent tax bracket from the earlier 18 percent GST bracket.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the benefit of input tax credit (ITC) will be taken away from the restaurant industry, as it failed to pass on the benefits to the customers.

He added that the only exception would be restaurants in starred hotels (that charge more than Rs 7,500 per night). These restaurants will continue to be in the 18% bracket and will keep getting the ITC benefits.

Currently, 12 percent GST on food bill is levied in non-AC restaurants and 18 percent in air-conditioned ones. All these got input tax credit, a facility to set off tax paid on inputs with final tax.

After the 23rd meeting, the Council decided to keep only 50 items, mostly demerit, sin and luxury goods in the 28 percent bracket, which earlier had more than 200 items in the slab. Cement, paint, and washing machines are a few of the items that will continue under the 28 percent GST slab.

Jaitley said 178 items in the 28 percent slab will be moved to the 18 percent tax slab. He said rates on 2 items would be reduced from 28 percent to 12 percent. Rates on 13 items will be reduced from 18 percent to 12 percent. Six items will be moved from the 18 percent slab to the one with 5 percent, whereas rates on 8 items will be reduced from 12 percent to 5 percent, and rates on 6 items will be reduced from 5 percent to zero tax.

The changes will be applicable from 15 November, the finance minister added.

‘People-Inspired, People-Friendly and People-Centric’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to laud the decisions made by the GST Council. He said, “All our decisions are people-inspired, people-friendly and people-centric.”

All items of mass consumption such as chewing gums, chocolates, aftershave, deodorant, washing powder, detergent, marble have been put in the lower slab of 18%
Sushil Modi, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar

Bihar’s Deputy CM, Sushil Kumar Modi said that the revenue implication of lowering tax will amount to Rs 20,000 crore.

He said it was important that the system under the GST regime stabilises, as only four months were remaining for the close of the current financial year.

Jammu & Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu told BloombergQuint that in the long run, the revenue gains, efficiency gains and buoyancy gains will make up for the revenue shortfall.

Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said the filing of return for 3B will be continued till March, next year. He also said if there is a nil return to be filed then late filing penalty will be reduced to Rs 20, and for others it will be reduced to Rs 50.

Tax rate on condensed milk, refined sugar, pasta curry paste, diabetic food, medical grade oxygen, printing ink, hand bags, hats, spectacles frame and bamboo/cane furniture has been cut from 18 percent to 12 percent.

Puffed rice chikki, flour of potatoes, chutney power, fly sulphur recovered in refining crude and fly ash will now be taxed at 5 percent instead of 18 percent.

Guar meal, hop cone, certain dried vegetables, unworked coconut shell and fish would attract nil GST tax as against 5 percent.

Tax on idli dosa batter, finished leather, coir, fishing net, worn clothing and desiccated coconut has been cut to 5 percent from 12 percent.

Facing intense heat from opposition-ruled states over keeping mass used goods in the 28 percent bracket which was meant for luxury and de-merit goods, the Council pruned the list to 50 as against 62 that was recommended by its fitment committee.

The GST Network said businesses can now make changes to the forms uploaded on the portal to claim transition credit.

"The facility to revise Form GST TRAN-1 declaration has been introduced on the GST Portal for taxpayers who had already filed it prior to 9 November 2017," GSTN said in a statement.

The government in September allowed for one-time revision of TRAN-1.

The facility to revise TRAN-1 declaration has been enabled for taxpayers who had already filed it, said GSTN, the company which developed the IT backbone for the new indirect tax regime. Revision can be either an increase or decrease of credit in comparison to the original credit.

If the revision is to reduce the credit claimed previously then the taxpayer will be able to file only if he has sufficient balance in his credit ledger," GSTN said.

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram took to Twitter to say that the government has been forced to make these changes due to the upcoming elections.

(With inputs from PTI and IANS)

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