The government said the GST, scheduled to be rolled out from July 1, is set to benefit consumers as tax incidence on smartphones, medical devices and cement will come down. The Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council comprising state finance ministers and headed by Union Finance Minister had last week finalised the GST tax on most of the items and services. Also Read - Why smartphones must be classified as an essential product during COVID-19 lockdownsAlso Read - Ola to offer free oxygen concentrators to the needy
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A smartphone currently attracts 2 percent central excise duty and VAT, which vary from state to state (5 percent to 15 percent). “Weighted average VAT rate on smartphones works out to about 12 percent. Thus, the present total tax incidence on smartphones works out to more than 13.5 percent. As against this, the proposed GST rate for smartphones is 12 percent,” the finance ministry said.
In the case of medical devices, the present total tax incidence on them works out to more than 13 percent, while it would attract GST of 12 percent. Puja samagri including haven samagri has been kept under the “nil” category, though exact formulation for the same is yet to be finalised. Referring to the packaged cement, the ministry said it would be taxed at 28 percent under the GST as against 31 per cent on account of different indirect taxes.
Similarly, there will be lesser tax burden in case of medicaments, including Ayurvedic, Unani, Siddha,Homeopathic or Bio-chemic systems also. Medicaments, in general, attract 6percent central excise duty and 5 percent VAT. Further, CST, octroi, entry tax, are also applicable in general. ALSO READ: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 becomes the highest selling smartphone in Q1 2017: IDC
At these rates, the present total tax incidence works out to more than 13 percent. As against this, the proposed GST rate on medicines, including ayurvedic medicines, is 12 percent.