JK govt to benefit from GST, will seek its passage in a

Health, education services exempted under GST, says Arun Jaitley

The good news is 50 per cent of the essential food items like rice, wheat and medicines will be exempted from any tax under the new tax regime.

Products like hair oil, soaps and toothpaste will become cheaper as these products would be taxed at 18 per cent instead of the current overall tax incide-nce of 22-24 per cent. Daily-use items like sugar, tea, coffee and edible oil will attract the lowest tax rate of five per cent, nearly the same as current incidence. "Gold is a luxury product".

The goods and services tax (GST) is slated for launch from July 1.

At present, telecom consumers are charged 15 per cent in form of tax and cess over their phone bills.

"Crucial GST meet to begin today" said the lead of Greater Kashmir, while The Tribune's Srinagar edition carried the story as the third lead on the front page with the headline, "Countdown begins for GST rate bracket". The tax rates will be decided in a fashion to keep their impact on inflation and revenues to the government near neutral. He said J-K, which is the only state enjoying special taxation powers, will make necessary changes to pass the GST bill, which is billed as the biggest tax reform in the history of independent India.

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Last week, the Reserve Bank called the GST a "game changer" and said given the cross-country experience and empirical evidence on efficiency gains from the Value Added Tax (VAT) in the Indian context, the implementation of this comprehensive indirect tax is likely to ensure higher tax buoyancy and an improvement in government finances over the medium term. "As per our estimate, we will have Rs 1500 to Rs2000 crore profits in tax revenue".

Currently, there are 17 items in the negative list of services on which service tax is not levied.

While tax slabs for about 80 per cent of items have already been decided, a decision regarding contentious items like motor vehicles, beedi, coconut oil was slated to be taken up for discussion during the meeting.

He said, "GST is beneficial for states which are importing goods from other states and we are importing everything".

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