In a special midnight session in the central hall of Parliament on Friday attended by President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Chief Ministers and MPs of both Houses, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be rolled out marking the start of a new indirect tax system. It is being hailed by the government as the biggest indirect tax reform measure since Independence. The Congress and several other Opposition parties have announced that they will boycott the session accusing the BJP of making a publicity stunt.
The introduction of GST will ensure that all central, state level taxes and levies on all goods and services will be subsumed within an integrated tax having two components – central GST and a state GST. Thus there will be a comprehensive and continuous mechanism of tax credits. All four GST bills were passed by both Houses of Parliament earlier this year pointing to a July 1 rollout.
While the new GST structure will see taxes increasing and decreasing on several sectors, there are some products whose prices will remain unchanged.
The list of items on which there will be a GST exemption are as follows:
* Under live animals – All goods other than live horses, such as live asses, mules and hinnies, live bovine animals, live swine, live sheep and goats, live poultry, that is to say, fowls of the species Gallus domesticus, ducks, geese, turkeys and guinea fowls, other live animals such as mammals, birds and insects are exempted.
* Meat and edible meat offal – Exemption on all goods other than in frozen state and put up in unit containers, meat of bovine animals, fresh and chilled. Meat of swine, fresh or chilled. Meat of sheep or goats, fresh or chilled. Meat of horses, asses, mules or hinnies, fresh or chilled. Edible offal of bovine animals, swine, sheep, goats, horses, asses, mules or hinnies, fresh or chilled. Meat and edible offal, of the poultry of heading, fresh or chilled. Other meat and edible meat offal, fresh or chilled. Pig fat, free of lean meat, and poultry fat, not rendered or otherwise extracted, fresh, chilled is also exempted.
Also read: The full GST rate schedule for goods
* Dairy produce – Exemption on fresh milk and pasteurised milk, including separated milk, milk and cream, not concentrated nor containing added sugar or other sweetening matter, excluding Ultra High Temperature (UHT) milk; eggs, birds’ eggs, in shell, fresh, preserved or cooked, curd, lassi, butter milk, chena or panneer other than put up in unit containers and bearing a registered brand name; Natural honey, other than put up in unit container and bearing a registered brand name.
* Products of animal origin – Human hair, unworked, whether or not washed or scoured, waste of human hair. Semen including frozen semen.
* Exemption on all goods under Live trees and other plants, bulbs, roots and the like; cut flowers and ornamental foliage
* GST exemption on fresh vegetables, roots and tubers other than those in frozen or preserved state. Dried leguminous vegetables, shelled, whether or not skinned or split.
* Exemption on fresh fruits other than in frozen state or preserved.
* Coffee, tea, mate and spices. Mate a bitter infusion of the leaves of a South American shrub – All goods of seed quality. Coffee beans, not roasted. Unprocessed green leaves of tea. Fresh ginger and fresh turmeric other than in processed form exempted.
* Cereals – Exemption on all goods (other than those put up in unit container and bearing a registered brand name).
* Products of milling industry; malt; starches; inulin; wheat gluten – GST exemption on flour (aata, maida, besan etc. – other than those put up in unit container and bearing a registered brand name), Wheat or meslin flour. Cereal flours other than of wheat or meslin, that is, maize (corn) flour, Rye flour, etc. Cereal groats, meal and pellets, other than those put up in unit container and bearing a registered brand name. Flour, of potatoes. Flour, of the dried leguminous vegetables of heading (pulses), of sago or of roots or tubers of heading or of the products of Chapter 8, that is, of tamarind, of singoda, mango flour.