Addressing a press conference at the end of the GST Council meet, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the Council over the months has been pruning items in the 28 per cent list.
In a series of tweets after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that the GST Council has made a decision to slash tax slabs for 178 items from 28 per cent to 18 per cent, Chidambaram said that the rate has been "capped" at 18 per cent.
Reviewing the goods under 18 % GST bracket, the council meeting today recommended reduction of GST rate to12% in respect of 13items, to 5 % in respect of six items. Value Added Tax (VAT) will continue to be charged for alcohol, which does not fall under GST. Chewing gum, chocolates, cosmetics like products of facial make-up, shaving, and after-shave items, shampoo, deodorants, washing powder detergent and marble will have lower 18 percent tax rate. As expected earlier, the all-powerful council agreed to slash GST rates on restaurant bills from 18 per cent to 5 per cent.
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"Congress Finance Ministers will force changes in GST Council meeting today". The move came on the back of findings that the restaurant sector was not forwarding the benefits of the input tax credit (ITC) received to its consumers. "Now, they can not avoid a debate in public domain or in the GST Council", he said. Sushil Modi said like demonetization, GST too aimed at "achieving a clean, transparent and honest economy" and claimed "the common people have no problems with the new tax regime per se".
The GST Meeting also decided that there will no benefit of input tax credit for restaurants. "The facility to revise Form GST TRAN-1 declaration has been introduced on the GST Portal for taxpayers who had already filed it prior to November 9, 2017", GSTN said in a statement. The hotels with tariff more than Rs 7500 per night shall be taxed at 18 per cent.