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With lower GST rates coming into force from today, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan directed state enforcement officers to ensure that benefits are passed on to consumers. As many as 178 items of daily use have been shifted from the top tax bracket of 28 per cent to 18 per cent, while a uniform 5 per cent tax was prescribed for all restaurants, both air- conditioned and non-AC. The central revenue department has already issued relevant notifications to effect the changes from today. "The reduced GST rates are effective from today. We have activated state legal metrology officers to ensure the rate cuts are passed on to the consumers," Paswan told PTI. A mechanism has been put in place to monitor changes in maximum retail price (MRP) on a daily basis, he said As per the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, companies have to give prior information to the public regarding any hike in MRP of the packaged items.
However, there is no boundation for them in case of MRP revised downward. Paswan further said that the companies would be required to paste stickers of MRP with new GST rates on the products which are ready for retailing. However, a notification in this regard will be issued soon. Items on which tax rate has been cut from 28 per cent to 18 per cent include wire and cables, furniture, mattress, trunk, suitcase, detergents, shampoos, hair cream, hair dyes, make up, fans, lamp, rubber tubes and microscope. Tax rate on condensed milk, refined sugar, pasta curry paste, diabetic food, medical grade oxygen, printing ink, hand bags, hats, spectacles frame and bamboo/cane furniture has been cut from 18 per cent to 12 per cent. That on puffed rice chikki, flour of potatoes, chutney power, fly sulphur recovered in refining crude and fly ash to 6 per cent from 18 per cent. Guar meal, hop cone, certain dried vegetables, unworked coconut shell and fish would attract nil GST tax as against 5 per cent now. Tax on idli dosa batter, finished leather, coir, fishing net, worn clothing and desiccated coconut has been cut to 5 per cent from 12 per cent.
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