Today: Jun 25, 2024

Pay GST on pre-packed, labelled food items, hospital rooms above Rs 5K from Monday

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New Delhi: Customers will have to pay 5 percent GST on pre-packed, labelled food items like atta, paneer and curd, besides hospital rooms with rent above Rs 5,000 from Monday with the GST Council’s decision coming into force.

In addition, hotel rooms with tariff of up to Rs 1,000 per day, maps and charts, including atlases, will attract a 12 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST), while 18 percent GST will be levied on tetra packs and fees charged by banks for the issue of cheques (loose or in book form).

Last month, the GST Council, chaired by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and comprising her state counterparts, had pruned the exemption list and imposed tax on a host of goods and services.

The Council, based on an interim report of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on rate rationalisation, had also removed duty inversion for goods where the taxes on inputs were higher than those on the output.

Tax rates on products such as printing, writing or drawing ink; knives with cutting blades, paper knives and pencil sharpeners; LED lamps; drawing and marking out instruments will be hiked to 18 percent on Monday, from 12 percent currently, to correct the inverted duty anomaly.

Also, solar water heaters will now attract 12 percent GST as compared to 5 percent earlier.

Some services such as work contracts for roads, bridges, railways, metro, effluent treatment plants and crematoriums too will see tax going up to 18 percent from the current 12 percent.

Besides, taxes will be cut on ostomy appliances and on transport of goods and passengers by ropeways to 5 percent from July 18, from 12 percent.

Renting of truck, goods carriage where the cost of fuel is included will now attract a lower 12 percent rate as against 18 per cent.

GST exemption on the transport of passengers by air to and from northeastern states and Bagdogra will be restricted to economy class only.

Services rendered by regulators such as RBI, IRDA and SEBI will be taxed at 18 percent and so will be renting of a residential dwelling to business entities.

Bio-medical waste treatment facilities shall attract 12 percent GST, while non-ICU hospital rooms exceeding Rs 5,000 per day will be levied 5 percent GST, without input tax credit, to the extent of the amount charged for the room.

Besides, individuals will only be able to claim GST exemption for training or coaching in recreational activities relating to arts or culture or sports.

Also, electric vehicles, whether or not fitted with a battery pack, would be eligible for the concessional GST rate of 5 per cent from July 18.

AMRG & Associates Senior Partner Rajat Mohan said healthcare services by a clinical establishment have enjoyed a tax-neutral status under Indian tax laws for decades now.

The government has now notified that all such clinical establishments including hospitals, nursing homes, and sanatoriums would be liable to pay tax on the gross room rentals which is more than Rs 5,000 per day.

“The striking question which comes to mind regarding the amendment is that since the treatment provided by the medical establishments is a composite supply, different elements of the referred transaction cannot be vivisected artificially for imposing new tax liabilities. Underlying notification seems to be ultra vires the provision of section 8 that mandates a single tax on all composite supply transactions,” Mohan added.

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