47th GST Council meeting leaves a big hole in consumer pocket
CA. Keshav R Garg
Much Awaited 47th GST Council Meet concluded yesterday and very smartly Council has left a big hole in the pockets of the consumer without even getting noticed. Council rolled back GST on the food items and grains which are pre-packaged and labeled. Only loose or sub standard food items or grains shall be tax free. This would mean that daily groceries bought from local vendors would be costly. This will surely burn your pocket as consumer.
Council also decided to increase GST on Printing Ink from 12% to 18% which would mean that books, newspapers, printer toners, printers etc. will also become costly affair. GST has also been increased on LED Lights from 12% to 18%. In the world of LED when most people are shifting to LED, raising the rate of Tax would make these lights costlier. GST on solar water heaters, fumigation of agricultural produce has also been increased which will again force you to pay more as consumers. Even the GST levy on government work contract for construction of roads, bridges etc. has also been increased which will again make moving on national highways dearer. If you are a lady consumer fond of diamonds, you shall have to pay more as the rates of GST on cut and polished diamonds have been increased from 0.25% to 1.5%, almost 6 times. If you are fond of travelling but are short of funds, Council has made it even more difficult. Hotels which are charging less than Rs. 1000 per day for a room will now be required to charge 12% GST. This means that Room would cost Rs. 1120 instead of Rs. 1000 earlier, straightway 12% increase. And somehow you plan to visit North East and book business class ticket in the flight, you shall have to pay more as the exemption has been withdrawn, Wait, Wait, it is not over yet, Council dint find to leave you without taxes even when you are admitted to a hospital. 5% GST has been introduced on Room rent exceeding Rs. 5000. And if you are a landlord and has residential house which you intend to let out to bank lease or to any company for residence of its employees, you may now have to pay GST on the same as it was tax free earlier. You must be heated up by now, let’s cool you down with tetra pack of juices/lassi etc. Oh My God, here also the rates of GST have been increased from 12% to 18%. It better you just have a sip of water, remind you to have RO one not the branded please.
After the heavy stuff, let’s give you a respite as Council has decided to levy concessional rate on Electric vehicles at 5%. But the point is how many of us can really afford to buy this recent technology and does country has sufficient Infrastructure.
The Council in the garb to rationalize the inverted duty structure has badly hit the people at large which was least expected during the times of high inflation and when people are still grappling with Covid 19.
These are the views of the writer only, himsatta has nothing to do with this,