What's so good about the new tax?
Those 17 or more state and federal levies on everything from electricity to Gucci handbags complicate efforts to sell products to India's population of 1.3 billion (about four times bigger than the U.S.). Under the current system, a product will be taxed multiple times and at different rates. Every day, for instance, more than 20,000 truck drivers wait in queues up to three kilometres (1.8 miles) long to pay an entry fee at the New Delhi checkpoints, with food rotting, tempers fraying and costs rising. In another change, the GST will apply to goods at the point of consumption, rather than where they are produced. That will reduce the cascading effect of taxes, allowing producers to easily claim credits and minimising the opportunity for corruption.
India will join 160 nations that have a value added tax, including Poland, Canada and Japan. At the top rate, India's GST will be among the highest.
Revenue Secratery Hasmukh Adhia said: "Nearly 81 percent of the items will fall under below 18 per cent GST rate slabs and only 19 per cent of the goods will be taxed above 18 per cent."
The tax slabs will comprise four basic rates: 5 percent, 12 percent, 18 percent and 28 percent.
- Sugar, Tea, Coffee (except Instant) and edible oil to fall under 5 per cent slab, while cereals, milk to be part of exempt list under GST.
- The rate for capital good & industrial intermediate items at 18 per cent.
- Coal to be taxed at 5 percent against current 11.69 per cent.
- Toothpaste, hair oil, soaps will be taxed at 18 percent, it is being tax at 28 percent, currently.
- Common man items have gone into 12 per cent and 18 per cent slab.
- Indians sweets or mithai in 5 per cent slab.
- All raw food items, including food grains to be exempt.
- Processed food of daily needs to be in the 5% slab.
- Luxury cars will attract 28 per cent levy plus a cess of 15 per cent, while small petrol cars will face 28 percent tax plus 1 per cent cess. Diesel small cars will be taxed at 28 percent with 3 percent cess. Consumer durables, which face a total tax of about 32 percent currently, will be placed in the 28 per cent slab.
- All chemicals and intermediate goods will be placed in the 18 per cent slab
Download GST rate schedule of goods