A comprehensive guide to GST and items that fall under its purview


The Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, due to come into force from 1 July, will be applicable to 1,211 items in all. These will be taxed as per the tax slabs they fall in, which range from nil to 28 percent. There is an additional cess on sin and luxury items. Here is a list of items and how they will be taxed to help you prepare for cost saving on certain items.

Nil tax

No tax on the following items:

  • Fresh meat, fish, chicken, eggs, milk, buttermilk, curd, natural honey, fresh fruits, and vegetables
  • Flour, besan, bread, “Prasad”, salt, bindi, sindoor
  • Stamps, judicial papers, printed books, newspapers, bangles, handloom, hotels and lodges with tariff below Rs 1,000
  • Jute

0.25 percent tax

  • Rough Diamonds

3 percent tax

  • Gold

5 percent tax

  • Apparel below Rs 1,000
  • Packaged food items
  • Footwear below Rs 500
  • Cream, skimmed milk powder, branded paneer, frozen vegetables, coffee, tea, spices, pizza bread, rusk, sabudana
  • Kerosene, coal, medicines, stent, lifeboats, transport services (railways, air transport) and small restaurants
  • Fish fillet.

12 percent tax

  • Frozen meat products, butter, cheese, ghee, dry fruits in packaged form
  • Animal fat, sausage, fruit juices, namkeen
  • Ayurvedic medicines
  • Tooth powder, agarbatti, colouring books, picture books, umbrella
  • Sewing machine
  • Cell phones, non-AC hotels, business class air ticket, fertilisers, work contracts
  • Apparel above Rs 1,000

18 percent tax

  • Footwear costing more than Rs 500
  • Bidi patta
  • Biscuits (all categories), flavoured refined sugar, pasta, cornflakes, pastries, and cakes
  • Preserved vegetables, jams, sauces, soups, ice cream
  • Instant food mixes, mineral water
  • Tissues, envelopes, tampons, notebooks
  • Steel products, printed circuits, camera, speakers, and monitors
  • AC hotels that serve liquor, telecom services, IT services, branded garments, and financial services

28 percent tax

  • Alcohol, bidis, cigarettes, cigars, chewing gum
  • Molasses, chocolate not containing cocoa
  • Waffles and wafers coated with chocolate, pan masala, aerated water, paint
  • Deodorants, shaving creams, after shave, hair shampoo, dye, sunscreen, wallpaper, ceramic tiles
  • Water heater, dishwasher, weighing machine, washing machine
  • ATM, vending machines, vacuum cleaner, shavers, hair clippers, automobiles, motorcycles, aircraft for personal use, five-star hotels, race club betting, cinema