CAIT demands review of GST rates for auto spares, FMCG

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GST Council, chaired by Arun Jaitley, which comprises of finance ministers of all the states and union territories across India, will have its 15th meeting to discuss GST rates on Gold and other precious metals.

Hailed as a "revolutionary" tax regime, the GST is said to be India's biggest tax overhaul since independence in 1947.

"This meeting is important because it is likely to finalise the rates of tax and cess to be levied on the commodities remaining".

The GST Council had last month put over 1,200 goods and 500 services in the four tax brackets of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent.

The CAIT sought reduction in the tax rates on malt based drinks like Horlicks, Boost, Bournvita, Complian and Amul Pro from current 28 per cent to 12 per cent. One of the key issues on the agenda is decision on the rates of bullion.

The common use products like hair oil, soaps and toothpaste will be charged with a single national sales tax or GST of 18 percent instead of present 22-24 percent tax incidence through a combination of central and state government levies.

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"Biscuits would be a political call", a source said.

GST will replace the centrally levied CENVAT, the central excise duty, service tax, customs duties, and any related surcharges.

The GST Council has declared tax slabs and cesses on 1,211 items.

Daily-use items like sugar, tea, coffee (barring instant coffee), edible oil and life-saving drugs will attract the lowest tax rate of five percent, nearly the same as current incidence.

The government has already indicated that the Council will reconsider duty on solar panel equipment and lower it to 5 per cent from the proposed 18 per cent.

However, the Finance Ministry has asked telecom service providers (TSPs) to rejig their prices and ensure that the increased availability of credit is passed on to the customers by lowering their costs, under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to customers in the country from July this year.