With the Modi government making it clear to the industry that it won’t defer the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST), the GST Council Meeting, chaired by the finance minister Arun Jaitely, on Saturday cleared yet another roadblock by finalising the tax on four more commodities — gold, footwear, biscuits and textile. The council had already fixed the rates for over 500 services and 1,200 goods under four tax slabs — 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. Bullion, gems and jewellery have been brought under the 3% slab; footwear up to ₹500, the rate is fixed at 5%, and above that, the rate is 18%. Biscuits will attract a GST of 18%. Readymade garments will come under the 12% bracket, though sub ₹1,000 garments will attract 5% levy. Raw materials such as yarn, fabric cotton and manmade fibre will be taxed at 5%, while synthetic fibre will attract 18% GST. Jute has been exempt from GST. While bidi is now subject to the highest tax of 28%, the council has kept the suspense alive on what the final rate would be on cigarettes. A decision on the same is likely when the council meets next on June 11. Till then keep huffing and puffing.
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