NEW DELHI: Consumers will now have to shell out more for rice, wheat and flour, among other items, if branded and packed in a unit container from Monday as the revised Goods and Services Tax comes into effect.
Pre-packaged and labelled pulses, and cereals like rice, wheat, and flour (atta) will now attract GST at the rate of 5 per cent when branded and packed in a unit container.
Other items such as curd, lassi, and puffed rice too would attract GST at the rate of 5 per cent when pre-packaged and labelled. The decision to hike GST on these items were taken in the recently held 47th GST Council meeting in Chandigarh.
A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document put out by the Ministry of Finance defines "pre-packaged" as a commodity that without the purchaser being present is placed in a package of whatever nature, whether sealed or not, so that the product contained therein has a predetermined quantity.
It is also clarified that a single package of these items (cereals, pulses, flour) containing a quantity of more than 25 Kg or 25 litre would not fall in the category of a pre-packaged and labelled commodity for the purposes of GST and would therefore not attract GST.
Prior to July 18, 2022, GST applied on specified goods when they were put up in a unit container and were bearing a registered brand name or were bearing brand name in respect of which an actionable claim or enforceable right in a court of law was available.
Now, this provision undergoes a change and GST has been made applicable on the supply of such "pre-packaged and labelled" commodities attracting the provisions of the Legal Metrology Act. Other items that will be dearer are printing, writing or drawing ink, knives with cutting blades, paper knives, pencil sharpeners and blades, spoons, forks, ladles, skimmers, and cake-servers. These items would now attract 18 per cent instead of 12 per cent. LED lamps and solar water heaters too will attract 18 per cent tax.
Further, Tetra Pak (or aseptic packaging paper) used for packaging liquid beverages or dairy products will now attract 18 per cent GST instead of 12 per cent. Cut and Polished diamonds will be taxed at 1.5 per cent compared to 0.25 per cent earlier.
Also, hotel accommodation rates up to Rs 1000 per day will now be now taxed at 12 per cent, On the other hand, tax on transport of goods and passengers by ropeways would decline to 5 per cent from 18 per cent. Renting of truck/goods carriage where the cost of fuel is included will be cheaper as the tax is reduced to 12 per cent instead of 18 per cent.