Crediting the Congress governments for initiating tax reforms, that started in 1986 and culminated in passage of GST, the senior party leader said a Tax Reform Committee was constituted in 1991, followed by a Committee of Chief Minister in 1999.
On the concluding day of the three-day session of the Tripura Assembly on Thursday, the Left-ruled state approved the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill unanimously by voice vote. He said the UPA-II government had tried hard to get the GST implemented and then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had introduced the GST Bill for the first time in the Parliament in 2010-10, but the bill was sent to the Standing Committee of Parliament after a consensus could not be reached.
Earlier this month, the GST Council at its meeting in Srinagar decided on the fitment of over 1,211 commodities and 500 services in four tax slabs of 5, 12, 18 and 28%.
Among the goods, mass consumption items like fresh fruits, vegetables, pulses, bread and milk are exempt from taxes, and the same holds true for services like health and education. "Out of the remaining items, 17 per cent of these would attract GST at a rate of 12 per cent and 18 per cent GST would be charged on 43 per cent items". He said more than 7 per cent daily use items were kept out of the GST, while only 5 per cent GST would be levied on 14 per cent items.
Taxi aggregators will also see marginal reduction in tax rates as the effective rate comes down to 5 per cent from 6 per cent. Motorcycles could also see some reduction in prices as the levy will come down by a percentage point to 28 per cent. The tax incidence on soaps and toothpaste under the GST regime would also come down to 18 per cent from the existing 25-26 per cent.
Besides, puja items, including those for havan, bindi and kumkum have been kept in the exempt category.
Under the GST regime, five-star restaurants will see an increase in tax incidence, while the levy on non-AC restaurants may come down marginally.
Under the GST regime, restaurants not having AC and liquor licence will attract 12 percent levy.
Five-star or above restaurants will be taxed at 28 percent.