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GST: Items for which industry is seeking rate revision

LiveMint logoLiveMint 30-06-2017 Soumya Gupta

New Delhi: On the penultimate day before goods and services tax (GST) is rolled out, the GST Council will meet once more on Friday in Delhi. Although the Council is unlikely to revise tax slabs for goods and services, here is a list of items that various industry associations, traders and retailers have been representing to the government for rate revision.

Biscuits

Under the current regime, biscuits of all types will be taxed at 18%. While this does not hurt premium biscuits, it will lead to a rise in prices for glucose biscuits. As per Mayank Shah, category head of biscuits at Parle Products (makers of Parle G), biscuit makers, including him, have been representing to the government to reduce this tax rate.

Branded packaged commodities

Loose unbranded commodities like dal, rice and other dry staples are exempt from GST. However, branded, packaged versions of these goods will be taxed at 5% under the new regime. The Retailers’ Association of India (RAI) has been representing to the government to exempt these goods from GST, the association said in a press briefing earlier this month. At this meeting, RAI member Kishore Biyani, who leads the Future Group, had said that packaged commodities are safer and better quality than loose commodities and, therefore, should not be taxed.

Tax collected at source in online home delivery

Under the services tax slabs of the GST regime, e-commerce firms that deliver goods for vendors on their website must deduct 1% tax collected at source (TCS) for central and state GST each. This has prompted vendors to pull away from e-commerce portals, including restaurants from foods delivery apps, Mint had reported earlier. These e-commerce portals have been representing to the government asking for a revision in TCS since at least the beginning of this year, Saurabh Kochhar, CEO of Foodpanda had said.

Home delivery services

Under the current GST rules, a physical retailer delivering goods will be taxed for this service at the same rate as the highest taxed good in the basket being delivered. RAI chief executive officer Kumar Rajagopalan had said that retailers are representing to the government to revise this rule and replace it with a flat charge for home delivery.

Rules of e-way bills

Major retailers, traders and manufacturers across most industries are worried about the lack of clarity on the rules governing e-way bills. Under the GST regime, all vehicles carrying goods across state lines will be required to carry an e-way bill which is a detailed invoice of the goods being carried along with their HSN (harmonized system of nomenclature) code and the time they will spend in transit. States have been asked to implement e-way bills at their discretion.

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