GST Rates in India

Introduction on GST Tax Rates

Ever since GST or Goods and Services Tax regime was announced, there has been a wide speculation about the GST rates bracket. The GST Council is the body that decides the rate slabs and the GST Council has been periodically revising the list of goods and services for each rate slab.

It’s clear that the Government’s intentions are to have lower tax rate for goods and services which are essential needs and higher tax rates for goods and services that are considered as luxury supplies.

Here’s a curated a list of GST rates structure for various goods and services, classified across the different GST tax slabs –

GST Exemption List - Goods & Services

Goods Services
Poultry Products – Fresh Meat, Fish, Chicken, Eggs Hotel Services priced at less than INR 1000
Dairy Products – Milk, Curd, Butter Milk, Jaggery (Gur), Lassi, unpacked Paneer Education (exemption continued from before)
Fresh Fruits & Vegetables Healthcare (exemption continued from before)
Food Items – Natural Honey, Flour (Atta & Maida), Pulses, Basmati Rice, Gram Flour (Besan), Bread, Vegetable Oil, Religious Sweets (Prasad), Common Salt
Cosmetics & Accessories – Bindi, Vermillion (Sindoor), Bangles
Stationery – Stamps, Judicial Papers, Printed Books, Newspapers
Handloom Products
Textile – Jute, Silk

Essential Goods & Services at 5% GST slab

Goods Services
Dairy Products – Skimmed Milk Powder, Milk food for babies, Condensed milk, Packaged Paneer, Cream Railway Travel
Frozen Vegetables Economy Class Air Travel
Food Items – Sugar, Spices, Edible Oil, Pizza Bread, Rusk, Sweets, Fish Fillets, Tapioca (sabu daana) Cab Aggregators (e.g. Uber & Ola)
Beverages – Coffee, Tea, Juices
Apparel – below 1000 INR
Footwear – below 500 INR
Fuel – Kerosene, LPG, Coal
Solar Panels
Common Utilities - Broom
Medical Goods - Medicines, Stents
Textile – Cotton, Natural Fibre and yarns
Incense Sticks (Agarbatti)

Standard Goods & Services at 12% GST slab

Goods Services
Dairy Products – Butter, Cheese, Ghee Non-AC Hotels & Restaurants
Packaged Dry Fruits Business Class Air Travel
Food Items – Snacks (Namkeen & Bhujia), Packaged Chicken, Sausages, Jams, Sauces
Beverages – Fruit Juices, Packed Coconut Water
Apparel – above 1000 INR
Personal Hygiene – Tooth Powder
Stationery – Exercise Books, Notebooks
Common Utilities – Sewing Machine, Umbrella
Ayurvedic Medicine
Mobile Phones

Standard Goods & Services at 18% GST slab

Goods Services
Dairy Products – Ice Cream Accommodation at hotels with tariff of more than 2500 INR but less than 7500 INR
Preserved Vegetables Supply of food / drinks in AC / 5 star and above rated restaurants
Food Items – Flavoured refined sugar, Pasta, Corn Flakes, Pastries, Cakes, Soups, Instant Food Mixes, Processed Foods Telecom Services
Beverages – Mineral Water IT Services
Branded Garments Financial Services
Footwear – above 500 INR Works Contract
Personal Hygiene – Tissues, Toilet Paper, Hair Oil, Soap Bars, Toothpaste Cinema Tickets worth 100 INR or les
Stationery – Envelopes, Fountain Pens
Electronic Equipment – Printed Circuits, Monitors
Iron & Steel Products
Biri wrapper leaves (Tendu Patta)
Textile – Man-made fibre and yarn

Special / Luxury Goods & Services at 28% GST slab

Goods Services
Food Items – Chocolates, Chewing Gum, Custard Powder Accommodation at hotels with tariff of more than 7500 INR
Beverages – Aerated Water Race course betting
Personal Hygiene – Deodorants, Shaving Cream, After Shave, Hair Shampoo, Dye, Sunscreen, Perfume, Face Creams, Detergents Cinema Tickets worth more than 100 INR
White Goods – Vacuum Cleaner, Shavers, Hair Clippers, Washing Machines, Dish Washers, Water Heaters & other Home Appliances
Automobiles & Motor Vehicles*
Housing Materials – Paint, Wallpaper, Ceramic Tiles, Cement
Weighing Machines, Vending Machines, ATM
Luxury / Demerit Goods* - Pan Masala, Tobacco, Bidis, Aerated Drinks & Motor Vehicles

*Note – Luxury / Demerit Goods as listed above will also attract a compensation cess over and above the GST rate of 28%

Articles outside the GST Tax Rate Slabs

  • Gold, gems, jewellery – 3%
  • Rough Precious & Semi – Precious Stones – 0.25%

Treatment of Luxury / Demerit Goods

In addition to the rates which have been fixed for major categories of goods and services, the GST council has approved the compensation rates for 5 luxury / demerit items. The proceeds of this cess will go into the compensation fund which would be used to bridge any tax revenue gap for states in the first five years of GST. The items that will be levied with the compensation cess, over and above the GST tax rates which are applicable on them are as follows:

Items GST Rate Applicable Approved Cess Range Cess Ceiling
Coal 5% INR 400 / tonne INR 400 / tonne
Pan Masala 28% 60% 135%
Tobacco 28% 61% - 204% INR 4170 / thousand
Aerated Drinks 28% 12% 15%
Motor Vehicles 28% 1% – 15% 15%


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