New Delhi: The 47th meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has approved imposing GST on new items and increasing the tax on a few items, in a bid to boost the government’s revenue. For instance, the council has decided to impose a 12% GST on hotel rooms below Rs 1000. So far, a 12% GST was imposed on hotel tariffs above the threshold. The move could hurt negatively impact the tourism sector which is currently making a recovery from Covid-19 woes.
Meanwhile, the GST Council has also agreed to levy an 18 per cent cess on cheques, irrespective of whether they are in loose or in book form. The GST will be levied on fees charged by banks for the issue of cheques.
Moreover, pre-packed and labelled food items like meat, fish, curd, and paneer will now attract GST. Unpacked food items such as rice and wheat when packed will now also attract GST at 5%. Other similar items that have now come under the ambit of GST are labeled meat (except frozen), honey, dried leguminous vegetables, dried makhana, wheat and other cereals, wheat flour, jaggery, puffed rice (muri), all goods and organic manure and coir pith compost.
The move has taken after the GST Council – the highest decision-making body on the levy of goods and services tax – accepted most of the recommendations of a group of ministers from states on withdrawing exemptions with a view to rationalising the levy, officials said.
On the first day of the two-day meeting, the panel, chaired by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and comprised of representatives from all states and UTs, accepted the GoM’s recommendation to review the current GST exemption for packed and labeled food items.
Also, the GST council has decided that goods that are unpacked, unlabelled and unbranded will continue to remain exempt from GST.