Here's a lowdown of GST rates being applied to every common man's item


As per schedule, the GST (Goods and Services Tax) Council met once again on Friday–this time, in order to classify services, under the four broad tax slabs that has been fixed. On Thursday, 1,211 items were categorised, and today, the rates for the services industry, including transport, finance, insurance, hospitality, were confirmed.

"India has finalised four tax rates that will apply to services including telecoms, insurance, hotels and restaurants under a new sales tax which should be rolled out on July 1," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, addressing the press after the meeting.

After the announcement about the goods category that many basic foodstuffs, like wheat, rice, and milk, will be exempt from GST, as far as services are concerned, education and healthcare are among the sectors that will have a zero percent levy.

A 213-page document has been released by the CBEC, which serves as the definitive list of the rates decided for all the goods in circulation. Here is an overview of all the goods and services that a common man normally avails of, and how they will be charged July 1 onward:


1. In the GST-exempt category: 

  • Unpackaged, unprocessed and unbranded meat and offal of animals like swine, sheep, goats, horses, asses, mules or hinnies, etc.
  • Fresh or pasteurised milk, separated milk, milk and cream, not concentrated nor containing added sugar or other sweetening matter (except for ultra high temperature, i.e., UHT milk) and any milk or poultry products like butter-milk, paneer, honey which are unpackaged, unprocessed and unbranded.
  • Unfrozen and unpreserved fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • In the tea and coffee category, all goods of seed quality, i.e. coffee beans, not roasted; unprocessed green leaves of tea, fresh ginger, unprocessed fresh turmeric. Unbranded and unprocessed cereal, like wheat and meslin, rye, barley, oats, maize, rice, millet, etc. Any generic, unbranded flour–aata, maida, besan.
  • Prasadam supplied by religious places like temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras, dargahs, etc.
  • Cane jiggery, puffed rice, pappad, bread.
  • Water (which is not aerated, mineral, purified, distilled, medicinal, ionic, battery, de-mineralized or sold in sealed containers), non-alcoholic toddy, neera, unbranded and unpackaged tender coconut water. Common salt, kala namak, rock salt.
  • Amongst medical products, human blood and its components, and all types of contraceptives, condoms, hearing aids.
  • Kumkum, bindi, sindur, alta. plastic bangles.
  • Printed books, including braille books and newspapers, periodicals & journals, maps, atlas, chart & globes.
  • Earthen pots and clay lamps, indigenous hand-crafted musical instruments
  • Manually operated or animal driven agricultural implements, and hand tools.
  • Slates, pencils and chalk sticks.

2. In the five percent category:

  • Branded honey, paneer, yogurt, cream, milk powder.
  • Herbs, jari booti and dry flowers; vegetables and fruits that are frozen, processed or treated with preservatives like sulphur dioxide gas, in brine, in sulphur water or in other preservative solutions, and unfit for immediate consumption. This does not include dry fruits – for they attract GST of 12 percent.
  • Processed, roasted or decaffeinated coffee, coffee husks and skins, coffee substitutes containing coffee in any proportion, other than coffee beans not roasted, processed tea leaves, spices like cinnamon and cinnamon-tree flowers, cloves, nutmeg, mace and cardamom, thyme, bay leaves, curry.
  • Beet sugar, cane sugar, khandsari sugar.
  • Mixes and doughs for the preparation of bread, pastry and other baker's ware, pizza bread, seviyan (vermicelli) tapioca and substitutes therefor prepared from starch, in the form of flakes, grains, pearls, siftings or in similar forms. Sabudana, rusks, toasted bread etc.
  • Carriages for disabled persons, whether or not motorised or otherwise mechanically propelled.
  • Coronary stents.
  • Broomsticks and muddhas made of sarkanda, phool bahari jhado

2. In the 12 percent category:

  • All frozen, salted, in brine, dried or smoked meat goods or meat offal, sold in branded containers.
  • Highly processed milk products like butter and cheese, oils derived from milk, spreads. Namkeens, bhujia, chabena and similar edible preparations ready for consumption.
  • Surface-active washing agents, detergents.
  • Books for entertainment or education, printed or illustrated postcards; printed cards bearing personal greetings, messages or announcements.
  • Mathematical boxes, geometry boxes and colour boxes, pencil sharpeners, utensils, sewing needles, kerosene burners and stoves and wood burning stoves of iron or steel, table or kitchen or other household articles of iron & steel
  • Pencil sharpeners and blades thereof, knives with cutting blades, serrated or not (including pruning knives), other than knives of heading, and blades, paper knives.
  • Telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks.
  • Sports goods, toys like tricycles, scooters, pedal cars etc. Fishing equipment etc.
  • Combs, hair pins, pens, pencils, crayons, pastels, drawing charcoals, writing or drawing chalks, sanitary towels, tampons, sanitary napkins, clinical diapers.
  • Works of art, collectors' piece and antiques.

4. In the 18 percent category

  • Refined sugar containing added flavouring or colouring matter, sugar cubes. Lactose, maple syrup, glucose, dextrose, fructose, invert sugar, artificial honey.
  • Cooked or uncooked pasta, corn flakes, bulgar wheat, prepared foods obtained from cereal flakes. Waffles and wafers (not containing chocolate). Pastries and cakes.
  • Soups and broths, ice cream, all kinds of food mixes including instant food mixes, soft drink concentrates, sharbat, Betel nut or supari, soy milk drinks, fruit pulp or fruit juice based drinks, branded tender coconut water.
  • Tooth powder, agarbatti and other incense sticks.
  • Plastic products, like tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and Hygiene or toilet articles.
  • Electronic toys like tricycles, scooters, pedal cars etc.
  • Toilet or facial tissue stock, towel or napkin stock and similar paper of a kind used for household or sanitary purposes.
  • Helmets and hats made of textile fabric.
  • Kitchen or tableware, spectacles and lenses.

5. In the 28 percent category

  • Molasses, chewing gum, bubble gum and white chocolate, not containing cocoa.
  • Chocolates and other food preparations containing cocoa.
  • Churna for pan, custard powder, pan masala.
  • Perfumes and other beauty or skin care products (other than medicaments), including sunscreen or sun tan preparations, bathing soap.
  • Plywood, veneered panels and similar laminated wood, wooden frames for paintings, photographs, mirrors or similar objects. Wallpaper and similar wall coverings.
  • Stoves [other than kerosene stove and LPG stoves], ranges, grates, cookers (including those with subsidiary boilers for central heating), radiators for central heating, not electrically heated, of iron or steel; air heaters and hot air distributors.
  • Primary cells and batteries, vacuum cleaners, electro-mechanical domestic appliances, with self-contained electric motor. Video games consoles and machines, articles and equipment for general physical exercise, gymnastics, athletics.


1. In the zero-tax category

  • Hotels with tariff under Rs 1,000.
  • Education and healthcare.
  • Grandfathering services.
  • Metro, local train travel
  • Non-AC train travel

2. In the five percent slab

  • AC train travel
  • Economy air transport.
  • Dhabas (with annual sales under Rs 50 lakh), their main input being petroleum, outside GST purview.
  • Cabs like Ola, Uber

3. In the 12 percent slab

  • Non air-conditioned hotels,
  • Business class air travel.

4. In the 18 percent slab

  • Air-conditioned hotels,
  • Hotels that serve liquor,
  • Hotels with tariff between Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,000.
  • Telecom and financial services.

5. In the 28 percent club

  • Five-star hotels with tariff of above Rs 5,000.
  • Race club betting.
  • Consuming films.

The GST basically has four slabs five percent, 12 percent, 18 percent, and 28 percent. While the slabs have not been determined for all goods and services, it was confirmed by the finance minister in the press address after the meeting, that almost 81 percent of the goods will be under the first three brackets, lower than 18 percent. Only 19 percent of the items will be categorised under the 28 percent slab.

The slab for gold, which was also to be finalised today, is still pending, and hence, another meeting will be convened on June 3 to do the same.