GST Rates in India

The GST rate slabs are decided by the GST Council. The GST Council revises the rate slab of goods and services periodically. The GST rates are usually high for luxury supplies and low for essential needs. In India GST rate for various goods and services is divided into four slabs: they are 5% GST, 12% GST, 18% GST, & 28% GST.

The GST rates for various products have been revised several times by the GST council since the inception of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The latest rate revision was brought into effect in the 41st GST Council Meeting which was held on Aug 27, 2020. Before that, there have been many GST Council Meetings in which certain rate revisions were introduced.

The details in respect to these rate revisions and other major things are being discussed below:

Revision of GST Rates announced in the 44th GST Council Meeting

GST rates on Covid-related essentials

Covid-related essentials   Present GST rate  Revised GST rate  
Pulse oximeters 12% 5%
Hand sanitisers 18% 5%
Equipment to check body temperature 18% 5%
Furnaces for cremation and their installation 18% 5%
Ambulances 28% 12%

GST rates on Covid medicines and tasting kits

Covid-related medicines and testing kits Present GST rate  Revised GST rate  
Testing kits 12% 5%
Specified inflammatory diagnostic kits 12% 5%

GST rates on oxygen and oxygen-related medical devices

Oxygen and oxygen-related medical devices Present GST rate  Revised GST rate  
Medical grade oxygen 12% 5%
Oxygen concentrator or generator 12% 5%
Ventilators 12% 5%
Mak, canula, or helmet 12% 5%
BiPAP machine 12% 5%
High flow nasal canula device 12% 5%

GST rates on Covid-related drugs

Covid-related drugs Present GST rate  Revised GST rate  
Tocilizumab 5% NIL
Amphotericin B 5% NIL
Heparin and other anti-coagulants 12% 5%
Remdesevir 12% 5%
Any other drugs recommended by ministry of health NA 5%
gst rates
GST Rates

Revision of GST Rates announced in the 43rd GST Council Meeting

  • GST on the export of relief goods to be exempted and will stay in effect until 31 August 2021.
  • GST on import of medicine for black fungus, that is Amphotericin B is also placed under the exemption list.
  • Any Covid-related relief item if imported even with the intention of donating to the government or any relief organization will be exempted from IGST till 31 August 2021.
  • Amnesty Scheme was announced by the finance minister to reduce late fee returns. Small taxpayers can file returns under this scheme.
  • A group of ministers will be formed who will submit a report by 8 June 2021 to determine whether the rates are to be increased or decreased.

Revision of GST Rates announced in the 42nd GST Council Meeting

Highlights of the meeting held on 5 October 2020

  • Small taxpayers with turnover of less than Rs.5 crore can now file quarterly GSTR-3B and GSTR-1 where the due date for GSTR-1 will be the 13th day of the month succeeding the quarter. This new rule came into effect on 1 January 2021. Due to the implementation of this rule, the number of returns has reduced to 8 from 24.
  • The quarterly taxpayers have the option of paying 35% of the net tax liability of the previous quarter, using an auto-generated challan for the first two months of the quarter.
  • For the auto-generation of GSTR-3B, a roadmap is prepared, where the details of the supplier’s GSTR-1 will help in auto-populating the ITC. GSTR-1 will help in auto-populating the tax liability as well. Hence, it is important to mandatorily file GSTR-1 before filing GSTR-3B. This rule came into effect on 1 April 2021.
  • Taxpayers will pay their GST through a simple challan.
  • Taxpayers with a turnover of Rs.5 crore and above will have to mention a 6-digit HSN code. A 4-digit HSN code is to be mentioned by taxpayers with a turnover of less than Rs.5 crore. This rule came into effect on 1 April 2021.
  • Bank accounts which have their PAN linked with Aadhaar will be able to receive refunds.
  • ISRO, Antrix Corporation, and New Space India Limite (NSIL) will receive GST exemptions to encourage the space launching services in India.
  • Sanitisers that are non-alcoholic will be continued to be taxed at 18% GST.
  • The compensation cess collected till date amounts to Rs.20,000 crore. This amount was disbursed to specific states in India by 5 October 2020.
  • Rs.25,000 crore towards IGST 2017-18 was distributed to specific Indian states.

Highlights of the meeting held on 12 October 2020

  • The meeting ended with no unanimity on the issue of borrowing. The states may avail of the options previously provided to borrow funds.
  • The compensation cess will be levied will beyond the 5-year tenure.
  • The center cannot borrow in case of shortage of compensation cess fund as it will create an increase in the yield of G-sec bonds.
  • A borrowing calendar has been issued where if the borrowing goes beyond the sanctioned limit, the G-Sec deals used as a benchmark for every other borrowing will increase.
  • Cess collected from July 2022 will not be disbursed to states in India and will be used for the payment of principal and interest. This will help in exempting the state from the burden of repaying the borrowed amount.

Revision of GST Rates announced in the 41st GST Council Meeting

The 41st GST Council meeting was chaired by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and was held on 27 August 2020. The government will provide an additional 0.5% relaxation in states where the borrowing limit is under the FRBM Act. States can borrow more due to the injury that has been caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Two options have been provided to the states to meet the compensation cess shortfall.

Revision of GST Rates announced in the 40th GST Council Meeting

The 40th GST Council meeting was chaired by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and was held on 12 June 2020. As per the meeting, no late fee will be levied for taxpayers that come under nil tax liability. In case taxpayers file the returns between 1 July 2020 and 30 September 2020, the maximum late fee that can be charged is Rs.500. In the case of small taxpayers (aggregate turnover of up to Rs.5 crore), the rate of interest has been reduced to 9% from 18% p.a. for GST returns that are filed for February, March, and April 2020. However, the returns must be filed before 30 September 2020.

Revision of GST Rates announced in the 39th GST Council Meeting

The following table reflects the changes in the rates applicable to the goods and services:

Goods or commodities New rate Old rate
Handmade matches 12% 5%
Mobile phones 18% 12%
Other handmade matches 12% 18%
Aircraft MRO services 5% along with full ITC 18%

Announced on 14 March 2020, the rates mentioned above are applicable w.e.f. 1 April 2020.

Revision of GST Rates announced in the 38th GST Council Meeting

The following table reflects the changes in the rates applicable to the goods and services:

Goods or commodities New rate Old rate
Sacks of polythene and polypropylene 18% 12%
State owned lotteries 28% 12%
State authorised lotteries 28% 28%
Woven and non-woven fabrics 18% 12%

Announced on 18 December 2019, the rates mentioned above are applicable w.e.f. 1 January 2020. Rates for the lotteries are applicable w.e.f. 1 March 2020.

Revision of GST Rates announced in the 37th GST Council Meeting

Announced on September 20th, 2019, the following table reflects the changes introduced in the rates applicable to the goods and services. These changes are applicable w.e.f. from 1 October 2019.

Goods or commodities New rate Old rate
Plates and cups made of tree products Nil 5%
Caffeinated Beverages 28% + 12% cess 18%
Supplies of Railways wagons & coaches (without the refund of accumulated ITC) 12% 5%
Outdoor Catering (without the ITC) 5% 18%
Diamond Job work 1.50% 5%
Other Job work 12% 18%
Hotels with Room Tariff of Rs.7501 and above 18% 28%
Hotels with Room Tariff from Rs 1,001 to Rs 7,500 12% 18%
Woven or non-woven Polyethylene Packaging bags 12% 18%
Marine fuel 5% 18%
Almond Milk 18% -
Slide fasteners 12% 18%
Wet grinders (consisting of stone as a grinder) 5% 12%
Dried Tamarind Nil 5%
Semi-precious stones- cut & polished 0.25% 3%
Specified goods for petroleum operation under Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy 5% Applicable rate
Cess on Petrol Motor Vehicles (Capacity of 10-13 passengers) 15% 1%
Cess on Diesel Motor Vehicles (Capacity of 10-13 passengers) 15% 3%

Revision of GST Rates announced in the 36th GST Council Meeting

The following table reflects the changes in the rates applicable to the goods and services:

Goods or commodities New rate Old rate
Electric chargers 5% 18%
Electric vehicles 5% 12%

These rates were revised on July 27th, 2019 and is applicable w.e.f. August 1st, 2019.

Revision of GST Rates announced in the 31st GST Council Meeting

The following table reflects the changes in the rates applicable to the goods and services:

Goods or commodities New rate Old rate
Vegetables which are preserved provisionally but are not suitable for immediate consumption 5% Nil
Cooked or uncooked vegetables which are steamed, frozen or boiled (branded) 5% Nil
Music Books 12% Nil
Parts for manufacturing renewable energy devices falling under chapter 84, 85 or 94 of Tariff - 5%
Natural cork 12% 5%
Fly ash blocks 12% 5%
Walking sticks 12% 5%
Marble rubble 18% 5%
Agglomerated cork 18% 12%
Cork roughly squared or debugged 18% 12%
Articles of Natural cork 18% 12%
Movie Tickets worth Rs.100 or less 18% 12%
Premium on Third party insurance on Vehicles 18% 12%
Accessories for Handicapped Mobility Vehicles 28% 5%
Power banks 28% 18%
Movie Tickets worth more than Rs.100 28% 18%
Video game consoles, equipments used for Billiards and Snooker and other sport related items of HSN code 9504 28% 18%
Retreated & used pneumatic Rubber Tyres 28% 18%
Colour Television Sets & monitors up to “32 Inches” 28% 18%
Digital & Video Camera recorders 28% 18%
Pulleys, transmission shafts, cranks and gear boxes under HSN 8483 28% 18%
Reduction of tax rates on Air travel of pilgrims 28% 18%

Commodities and Services GST rates

The GST Council has proposed a four-tier tax structure wherein rates are either nil or very low so far as essential food items are concerned. The reason for this is that these food items constitute around 50% of the consumer basket, and contributes significantly towards ensuring that widespread inflation is kept in check even after the revised tax slabs under GST have been implemented. Negative items and luxury goods, however, are expected to be taxed at a considerably higher rate to maintain revenue neutrality for state and central governments following the implementation of the new GST rates. Other precious metals are likely to see the implementation of an extra concessional GST tax slab as these metals are currently taxed at just 1% under VAT.

Following is a table of commodities and services and the GST rates applicable to them:

Commodities / Services GST Rate
Items that are not listed in any other category, such as electrical appliances, oil, soaps, etc. 18%
All services like professional charges, fees, insurance, banking, restaurants, telecom, etc. 18%
Essential farm produced mass consumption items such as wheat, rice, food grains, etc. NIL
Mass consumption and common use food items like mustard oil, tea, spices, etc., but not including processed foods 5%
Processed foods 12%
Cars and white goods 28%
De-merits and luxury goods and items that fall under the sin category, such as aerated drinks, tobacco, luxury cars, pan masala, etc. 28% + CESS

GST Council implements rate cuts leaving 35 goods in the highest tax bracket

By July 2018, the GST Council reduced tax rates on 191 goods, leaving only 35 items in the 28% tax category. Some of these include:

  • AC
  • Dishwashing machines
  • Digital cameras
  • Cement
  • Video recorders
  • Parts of automobiles
  • Motor vehicles
  • Tyres
  • Yachts
  • Aircrafts
  • Aerated drinks
  • Sin items such as tobacco, cigarette, and pan masala

At the time of GST rollout, there were 226 goods in the highest tax slab. Over a period of 1 year, the GST Council has slashed the taxation rates for 191 items in total. The highest tax slab may be further rationalised to ensure that only sin goods and super luxury goods are taxed at 28%.

FAQs on GST rates

  1. What is the GST rate for gold?
  2. The GST on gold is 3% of its value. However, if the gold is converted into ornaments, an additional 5% GST is charged on the making charges. Thus, a total of 8% GST is charged on gold ornaments.

  3. What is the GST rate charged on mobile phones?
  4. At present, the GST charged on mobile phones is 12%.

  5. What is the GST rate charged on two-wheelers?
  6. At present, the GST charged on two-wheelers is 28%, which is the highest slab for GST. However, there have been petitions to reduce the GST on two-wheelers to 18%.

  7. What is the GST rate charged on television sets?
  8. At present, the GST charged on television sets is 18% for TVs of up to 32 inches. For TVs that are bigger than 32 inches, the GST charged is 28%.

  9. What is the GST rate for lac?
  10. The GST rate for lac is 3%.

  11. What is the GST rate for coffee?
  12. The GST rate for coffee is 28%.

News About GST Rates

  • India may consider higher GST and fewer rates

    India is looking to increase tax on certain items while moving to a simpler structure with fewer rates.

    A panel considered to experts on Goods and Services Tax will most likely meet the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman where it is very much possible that the current tax system will be overhauled completely and replaced by a much simpler system.

    Goods and services in India are taxed at 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28% where certain items such as food attract low tax while luxury goods attract the highest.

    It is likely that the two lowest rates might get hiked by 6% and 13% respectively, and rates eventually be made part of a three-part system.

    The decision to increase GST if implemented may be looked upon as an unpopular move especially during the time when the country is still recovering from the impact caused due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

    14 October 2021

  • GST will be imposed on companies giving off free Diwali gifts

    As per a recent ruling by the Authority for Advance Rulings (AAR), GST will be imposed on promotional gifts given by companies. Promotional items like mixer grinder, air coolers and refrigerators do not qualify as gifts.

    Therefore, the items supplied under promotional schemes will be charged to tax.

    12 October 2021

  • RASA Requests Union Finance Minister to Postpone Raising the GST on Railway Products

    The Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has received a request from the Railway Suppliers Association (RASA) to delay the recent decision made by the government to raise the GST from 12% to 18% on various railway products. The finance ministry decided on 30 September 2021 to raise GST on all railway products that fall under Chapter 86.

    12 October 2021

  • September GST collection exceeds pre covid level

    Finance Ministry on Friday reported that collections from Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the month of September was Rs.1.17 lakh crore. The collections exceeded pre-Covid levels as compared to September month’s collection in 2019, it was higher by 4 percent. When compared to last September’s collections. It was higher by 23 percent. It needs to be mentioned here that the average monthly gross GST collection for the second quarter of the current year was Rs.1.15 lakh crore. In the first quarter, the average monthly collection was Rs.1.10 lakh crore. During the month under review, revenues from import of goods were 30 percent higher and the revenues from domestic transaction were 20 percent higher than the revenues from these sources during the same month last year. Of the gross GST revenue collected, CGST was Rs.20,578 crore, SGST was Rs.26,767 crore, and IGST was Rs.60,911 crore. Cess was Rs. 8,754 crore.

    7 October 2021

  • GST rates for printing services of recorded media increased to 18%

    The Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council has recommended hiking the GST rates on printing and reproduction services of recorded media to 18%. Earlier, the GST rates were at 12%. The main reason for increasing the GST rates is to bring parity with colour printing of images from digital media or film. Apart from printing services of recorded media, the GST rates have been increased on licensing services of recorded media from 12% to 18%. The main reason for increasing the GST rates is to bring parity between licensing services and distribution.

    6 October 2021

  • Centre has set up two committees to rework GST rate slabs

    On 17 September, the GST council took the decision of establishing two committees comprising state finance ministers to review GST exempt items, rework GST rate slabs and recognise potential sources of tax evasion. The Centre and the states are working towards developing an easier rate structure.

    A group of ministers will be reviewing the items that are under an inverted duty structure in order to reduce refund payout. The supply of goods and services that are free from GST will also be reviewed so that the tax base can be improved.

    The seven-member panel will examine the inverted duty structure representations. The objective is to recommend appropriate rates in order to avoid cases in which the GST imposed on final goods is lesser when compared to their inputs.

    30 September 2021

  • Group of Ministers to be set up to overhaul several GST rates

    The government has set up a Group of Ministers (GoM) to overhaul several tax rates that come under the Goods and Tax (GST) Regime. The GoM will be led by the Chief Minister of Karnataka Basavaraj S. Bommai. The GoM will look into merging the different tax slabs within the next two months. At the moment, the GST regime has five tax slabs, 0%, 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%. According to the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, one GoM will look into the rationalisation of tax rates.

    30 September 2021

  • ITC Rating: Buy – Status quo on tax is a positive for firm

    The GST Council had made a list of changes in the GST rates. The Council had made no change in the interest rate of the cess sectors, like tobacco. This is a good development for ITC, and is set to go through a recovery in earnings and cigarette volumes in the upcoming quarters. The valuations are attractive and the stock offers 5% yield.

    27 September 2021

  • Cash-back vouchers and gift vouchers to be liable for 18% GST

    According to the Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR), Any cash-back vouchers or gift vouchers that are given to suppliers or customers will be liable to 18% GST. While passing the rule, the AAR said that any vouchers that are being supplied will be taxable and will attract an 18% GST. Any supply of e-vouchers will be taxable and will not depend on the underlying item. All special provisions have been rejected by the ruling.

    18 August 2021

  • GST rates cut for essential Covid-19 commodities

    Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates have been revised for several items that are essential for the treatment of Covid-19 treatment. However, the 5% levy on Covid-19 vaccines will remain the same in order to ensure that the tax paid on inputs will remain intact when giving credit. The items for which GST rates have been revised and the current rates are as follows: Ambulances will be charged a GST of 12% (previously 28%), hand sanitisers, equipment to check temperatures, furnaces for crematoriums including installation will be charged 5% (previously 18%), pulse oximeters, medical-grade oxygen, ventilators, concentrators, BiPAP, Covid testing kits, other specified inflammatory testing kits will be charged 5% (previously 12%), any drug recommended for Covid-19 treatment by the health ministry will be charged a GST of 5%, while Heparin anticoagulants and medicines like Remdesivir will be charged 5% (previously 12%), and Amphotericin B will be charged nil on GST (previously it was charged 5%).

    14 June 2021

  • Import of drugs for Black Fungus and COVID-19 relief exempted from IGST

    The Finance Minister of India Nirmala Sitharaman has recently announced that the GST Council has exempted imports of COVID-19 relief and drugs for Black Fungus will be exempt from IGST till 31 August 2021.

    The drug for Black Fungus, Amphotericin-B and the relief being brought in to the country for COVID-19 relief have been exempted from the IGST in the 43rd GST Council meeting. The finance minister also added that the exemptions will be applicable to the COVID-19 relief items irrespective of them being purchased or being donated to the government or a relief agency as per the directives of the state authorities.

    31 May 2021

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