With the GST kicking off from midnight, prices of goods will change as per the tax charged under the new tax regime. Customers can buy certain goods at cheaper rates, though many others are likely to get costlier.
Unpacked foodgrains, milk, eggs, curd, salt will cost less from midnight. These, along with services such as education and health care, are exempted from GST. People can also expect to spend less on perfumes, footwear (that costs less than Rs 500), readymade garments (costing below Rs 1,000), cars with engines over 1,500 cc and musical instruments.
Customers may, however, have to pay extra for commodities such as ice-cream, toiletries and computers, which will now be levied a flat 18 per cent tax. Biscuits, cornflakes, jam will also cost more as taxes have been increased substantially to 18 per cent. Earlier, these products were taxed between 6 to 9 per cent.
“By the look of it, most of the packaged food items seem to have been put in a higher tax bracket. Most working couples in the city use these products and our eating budget is likely to get affected,” Anjum Shaikh, an HR professional from Mumbai, said. Telephone bills may also be a bit on the higher side, with 18 per cent GST imposed on it, as against the 15 per cent being paid now. Fliers, especially those flying business class, would feel the pinch as the tax on business class air tickets has been raised from 9 to 12 per cent.
Meanwhile, traders in the city remain doubtful about whether the state machinery is ready to usher in the new taxation system. Traders are concerned over computerisation, technical issues and difficulties arising because of the change in tax system.
State Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, who held a meeting with traders’ representatives late on Thursday, had assured the business community that the government was positive in its talks with traders and their concerns would be addressed by the GST Council.