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What are the different type of GST tax slabs?

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Publish Date: November 05th, 2019

By: Sandhya Kannan, Head – Content

At the recently held 37th GST Council meeting on 20 September 2019 in Goa, there have been significant announcements regarding GST updates. The Council meeting concluded that the recent GST updates and GST slab rates are likely to uplift the economy that is currently in a slowdown.

Some of the critical GST updates that have implemented the new GST tax slabs are as follows:

  • No GST tax slabs to be applied on hotel stays that have a transaction value of Rs 1000 or less per day. However, transactions that are between Rs 1000 - 7500 will attract 12% GST, while above Rs 7500 will be taxed 18% under GST.
  • Group insurance policies for paramilitary forces under the home affairs ministry will not be levied any GST tax slabs.
  • Specific defence items that are manufactured outside India will not attract GST
  • Jewellery exports will not come under GST
  • Lesser 12% tax on 1200 cc petrol and 1500 cc diesel vehicles that can carry up to 13 people
  • Cut and polished semi-precious stones will have lower taxes, from the earlier 3% to 0.25% now.
  • Services on diamond work lowered to 1.5% from former earlier 5%.
  • Engineering machine services lowered to 12% from the earlier 18%.

Although the above points were implemented to boost the economy, various other goods and services now have elevated GST slab rates. For instance, the GST council increased the GST rates chart on caffeinated drinks from the earlier 12% to 28% now, with a 12% compensation tax. In addition, the new GST slab list will have rail wagons and coaches becoming expensive with an increased cess from the former 5% to 12% now.

GST Tax Slabs in India

Nil Taxes on:
  • Sanitary napkins, stone, marble or wood deities, rakhis without precious metals, the raw material for brooms, Saal leaves, fortified milk, fruits, vegetables, bread, salt, bindis, yoghurt, sindoor, honey, bangles, handloom, chickpea flour, eggs, stamps, books, legal papers, newspapers.
  • Hotels and lodges with tariffs below ₹ 1,000; IMM courses, bank charges on a savings account, Jan Dhan Yojana, services supplied by rehabilitation professionals etc
GST of 5%
  • Skimmed milk powder, fish fillets, frozen vegetables, caffeinated beverages, coal, fertilisers, spices, pizza bread, kerosene, ayurvedic medications, agarbathis, dry mango, insulin, cashew nuts, namkeen, lifeboats, ethanol-biofuel, handmade floor coverings, braids
  • Local restaurants, railway and airway services, ACs, non-AC restaurants, liquor serving restaurants, takeaway meals, special pilgrimage flights in economy class
GST of 12%
  • Frozen meat, butter, cheese, ghee, pickles, processed meats, fruit juices, namkeen, tooth powder, umbrella, instant food mix, mobile phones, sewing machines, textile yarn, handbags, pouches, purses, jewellery boxes, wooden frames, photographs, mirrors, pressure stoves, iron artifacts.
  • Business-class air tickets and movie tickets priced under ₹100.
GST Tax Slab of 18%
  • Refined sugar, cornflakes, pasta, pastries and cakes, detergents, washing and cleaning preparations, safety glass, mirror, glassware, sheets, pumps, compressors, fans, light fitting, chocolate, preserved vegetables, tractors, ice cream, sauces, soups, mineral water, deodorants, suitcase, briefcase, vanity case, oil powder, chewing gum, hair shampoo, preparation for facial make-up, shaving and after-shave items, washing powder.
  • Refrigerators, water heaters, washing machines, televisions (up to 68 cm), vacuum cleaners, paints, hair shavers, hair curlers, hairdryers, deodorants, lithium-ion batteries, marble and granite, sanitaryware, leather clothing, wristwatches, cookers, stoves, cutlery, telescope, goggles, binoculars, oil powder, cocoa butter, fat, artificial fruits and flowers, physical exercise equipment, musical instruments and their parts, stationery items, diesel engine parts, electrical boards, panels, wires, razor and razor blades, furniture, mattress, cartridges, multi-functional printers, door, windows, aluminium frames, monitors and television screens, tyres, power banks for lithium-ion batteries, video games
GST of 28%
  • Sunscreens, pan masala, dishwasher, weighing machine, paint, cement, vacuum cleaner, automobiles, hair clippers, motorcycles.
  • Five-star hotels, movie tickets, betting at casinos and racing.


Although the 37th GST Council did not reduce taxes on automobiles, they approved a reduction of compensation cess for specific vehicles. Also, Tourism and FMCG sectors would benefit from specific new GST slab rates rationalisation. While taxes can eat away your earnings, it can help to invest wisely and build wealth. Opening a demat and trading account with full-service brokers such as Kotak Securities can ensure you invest money periodically to meet your financial goals.

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