A four-tier structure for Goods and Services Tax (GST) comprising a lower rate of 6 per cent, two standard rates of 12 per cent and 18 per cent, and a higher rate of 26 per cent with an additional cess for luxury and demerit goods were proposed in the third meeting of the GST Council. The higher rate for services under the indirect tax regime is proposed to be 18 per cent, while essential services such as transportation are proposed to be taxed at 6 per cent or 12 per cent. Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said after the meeting that ultra-luxury items like high-end cars and demerit goods like tobacco, cigarettes, pan masala and aerated drinks, comprising about 25 per cent of the taxable base, would attract an additional cess over and above the higher rate of 26 per cent.
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