New Delhi: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) –India’s biggest tax reform since independence — came into force on July 1 2017, after 17 tumultuous years of debate, unifying more than a dozen central and state levies but doubts remained if the transition to a national sales tax will be without any glitch.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the new levy as “good and simple tax” that marks economic integration of India.
For some businesses, the GST is complex with four broad tax categories of 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent, and myriad exceptions, as opposed to a simpler, flatter and broader sales taxes in other countries.
Given a lot of confusions and queries over different rate slabs, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has launched a mobile app to clear doubts about the different rates of GST.
The app called GST Rates Finder is currently available on android platform and will soon be rolled out on iOS. Ministry of Finance has tweeted:
Over 1,200 items, from shampoo to tea to automobiles, have been put in four broad tax categories.
Unbranded food staples including vegetables, milk, eggs and flour will be exempt from GST, along with health and education services. Tea, edible oils, sugar, textiles and baby formula will attract a 5 percent tax.