Cheaper Or Costlier? How GST May Impact Prices Of Goods

GST or goods and services tax will change the indirect tax landscape of the country from July 1, subsuming over a dozen of state and central taxes. Since GST is meant to eliminate “tax on tax”, experts say overall tax burden on goods is expected to fall over time. Many essential goods such as unpacked food grains, gur, milk, eggs and salt won’t attract any tax under GST. Some services will get costlier as banking and financial services have been put in the 18 per cent rate slab under GST, from 15 per cent earlier.

“However, going forward, it is expected that due to reduced cost because of availability of GST credit on items hitherto not available, the price of services will also come down which will benefit the consumers,” says Sandeep Sehgal, director-tax and regulatory at Ashok Maheshwary & Associates LLP.

Prices of many common goods at the stores are likely to remain unchanged in the initial days after the GST rollout, say experts. Manufacturers may wait for a few weeks to gauge the net impact of GST on them as well as on wholesalers and distributors and may revise the prices accordingly later, says Mr Sehgal.

After GST rollout, many items like footwear below Rs. 500, garments and mobile phones could become cheaper. On the other hand, items like TV and small cars could become costlier.

Petroleum products such as petrol, diesel and aviation turbine fuel have been kept out of GST as of now. The GST Council will take a decision on it at a later date. Alcohol has also been kept out of GST.

Here is the list of goods, their current effective tax rates and respective GST rates under the new tax system, according to professional services firm EY:

Items Current effective rate (%) GST (%)
Perfume 17.5 – 27 18
Cosmetics 28
Cheese 5-14.5 12
Butter 12
Glucometers 11-20.5 12
Tableware – Metal 11 18
Revised 12% for spoons, forks, ladles, skimmers, cake servers, fish knives, tongs
Tableware – Ceramic 17.5 18
Tableware – Wood 18 and 28
Tableware – Plastic 18
Kitchenware – Metal 11-20.5 18
Revised 12% for Spoons, forks, ladles, skimmers, cake servers, fish knives, tongs
Kitchenware-Ceramic 17.5 – 27 18
Kitchenware-Wood 18 and 28
Kitchenware-Plastic 18
Kitchenware-Fly ash 18
X-Ray Apparatus (for medical, dental & veterinary) 17.5-27 12
X-Ray Apparatus 28
Footwear (below Rs. 500) 14.41 5
Footwear(above Rs. 500) 14.41 18
Readymade garments (below Rs. 1000) 5-6 5
Readymade garments (above Rs. 1000) 18.5 12
Biscuits( Less than Rs. 100/kg) 11.89 18
Biscuits(Above Rs. 100/kg) 16.09 18
Corn-flakes 9.86 18
Wrist watch 20.64 28
Jam 5.66 18
Baby food (sold in unit containers) 7.06 18
Cellular Phone 13-24 12
Small Cars (<4m <1200 cc petrol) 25-27 28+1 (cess)
Small Cars (<4m <1500 cc diesel) 25-27 28+3 (cess)
Mid-segment (<1500 cc) 36-40 28+15 (cess)
Cars with 1500 cc & larger engines 41.5-44.5 28+15 (cess)
Vehicles for transport with 10 to 13 passenger capacity (cannot be considered as bus) 39-41 28+15
Motorcycles 25-35 28
Motorcycles Engine >350 25-35 28+3 (cess)
Television 25-27 28
Medicines 11 5
Stationery (Plastics) 11-27 18
Stationery (Paper) 12 and 18
Rates revised on following items from 18% to 12% – Exercise books and note books
Stationery (Pen/Fountain Pen)
Rates revised on following items from 18% to 12% – Eraser
Renewable energy devices 17-18 5
Iron Ore 17-18 5
Digital Cameras 25-27 28
Luxury items like yacht 25-27 28+3 (cess)
Music Instruments (Handmade) 0-12.5 0
Music Instruments (Other than Handmade) 25-27 28

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Notes from EY:
-These are illustration purposes only, not meant for direct implementation or reliance
-These rates are based on the best of our understanding of the applicable rates and should not be taken as an assurance of ultimate rates.
-Information as of June 20.
-EY assumes no responsibility to update for changes in after the date of the submission.

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