The all-powerful GST Council on Friday more than doubled the tax on caffeinated beverages to 40 percent and slashed the rate on hotel room tariffs. Briefing reporters after a meeting of the panel, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the GST on caffeinated beverages has been hiked to 28 percent plus an additional cess of 12 percent as against the current rate of 18 percent.
For hotels, she announced nil tax for those with tariffs of up to Rs 1,000 per night. Hotels charging Rs 1,001 to Rs 7,500 per night room tariff would be levied with 12 percent tax as against the existing 18 percent. Similarly, the tax on room tariff of above Rs 7,500 has been slashed to 18 percent from the existing 28 percent. Also, tax on outdoor catering has been reduced to 5 percent from existing 18 percent with an input tax credit, she said.
The GST was also cut on marine fuel to 5 percent while the same on railway wagons, coaches, the rolling stock has been increased from 5 percent to 12 percent. Exemption from the GST has been given to imports of specified defence goods that are not manufactured in India.
A uniform GST rate of 12 percent will be levied on woven/non-woven polyethylene bags. The cess levied on top of the maximum 28 percent tax rate on petrol vehicles with the capacity to carry 10-13 persons has been reduced to 1 percent and the same for diesel vehicles has been cut to 3 percent.
The tax on almond milk has been set at 18 percent, she said adding all rate changes would be effective from October 1. The GST on slide fasteners (zips) has been reduced to 12 percent from 18 percent earlier.
Also, the tax on diamond job work has been reduced to 1.5 percent from 5 percent earlier. The same on the supply of machine job cut to 12 percent from 18 percent.