After chairing the 37th Goods and Services (GST) Council meet in Goa Friday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a tax hike on caffeinated beverages up to 40 per cent and slashed rates on hotel room tariffs. The meeting also decided to lower cess on 1500 cc diesel vehicles and 1200 cc petrol vehicles by 12 per cent.
On caffeinated beverages, the GST has been hiked to 28 per cent with an additional cess of 12 per cent, as against the current 18 per cent.
For hotels, Sitharaman announced that rooms which cost Rs 1,000 to Rs 7,500 per night, will now levy a tax of 12 per cent rather than 18 per cent, while the rooms which charge more than Rs 7,500 will now levy 18 per cent tax, down from 28 per cent. On rooms which charge less than Rs 1,000 per night, Sitharaman said no tax will be levied.
The GST was also cut on marine fuel to 5 per cent while the same on railway wagons, coaches, roling stock has been increased from 5 per cent to 12 per cent.
Also, the tax on diamond job work has been reduced to 1.5 per cent from 5 per cent earlier.
The Finance Minister also said that import of specified defence goods which are not being manufactured indigenously have been exempted from GST/IGST till 2024.
The Finance Minister said that the government is also exempting GST on the supply of good and services to FIFA and other specified organisations which are a part of the U-17 Women’s World Cup, which India will host in 2020.
“Exemption from GST/IGST is being given on import of specified defence goods not being manufactured indigenously. It’s being extended only up to 2024. Similarly, the supply of goods and services to FIFA and other specified persons also exempted for U17 Women’s World Cup in India,” Sitharaman said.
Apart from these, the government has also cut GST rates on slide fasteners, wet grinders, and marine fuel by a large margin.
“GST rate on slide fasteners has been reduced from 18% to 12%, marine fuel 18% to 5%, 12% to 5% on wet grinders consisting of stone as a grinder, & 5% to nil on dried tamarind,” the Finance Minister said.
Earlier in the day, Sitharaman announced cuts in tax rates for domestic companies and new domestic manufacturing companies to 22 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively.
The move is aimed at providing a better boost to the slowing economy.
The government also announced rollback back of higher surcharge on capital gains on the sale of equity announced in Budget for individuals, HUFs, Association of Persons (trusts).