Newspatrolling: The GST Council met today to discuss and finalize the rates for pending items. GST rate for gold and gold jewelry has been finalized at 3 percent, which is largely the same as the current tax structure applicable for gold. Gold currently attracts 2 percent tax, including 1 percent excise and 1 percent VAT. However, some states charge a higher VAT. The 3 percent GST rate for gold and gold jewelry is likely to be welcomed by jewelers. However, it was not so good news for businesses that process rough diamonds, as rough diamonds will attract a levy of 0.25 percent. Praveenshankar Pandya, chairman of Gem & Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), said that none of the Asian countries levy taxes on rough diamonds. He said that it would be quite difficult for gems and jewelry exporters to pay 0.25 percent and then manage the process of getting refunds and completing other formalities. He has requested the government to reconsider its decision on rough diamonds.
GST rate for footwear has also been finalized and it will be 5 percent for products costing less than Rs 500 and 18 percent for products costing more than Rs 500. GST rate for readymade garments will be 12 percent. Biscuits will attract a levy of 18 percent under GST. Solar panels will be taxed at 5 percent. The GST Council today also finalized the draft transition laws which will be utilized to switchover to the new tax regime.