Consumers stand to gain from the GST rates announced for daily consumption items which will also help keeping a check on prices, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said today. FMCG firms Dabur and Emami welcomed the rates on commonly used consumer items stating it would be beneficial but said more clarity is needed to understand overall impact. "The move will benefit consumers at large as they will pay less.
Free movement of goods will ensure easy availability and keep prices under check," Paswan told PTI. On the first day of a two-day meeting of the GST Council, headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, it has been decided that commonly used products like hair oil, soaps and toothpaste will be charged with a single national sales tax or GST of 18 per cent. These items at present attract 22-24 per cent tax incidence through a combination of central and state government levies. "The announcement of 18 per cent GST rate for soaps, toothpaste and hair oil is along expected lines and is certainly welcome. It will have a positive impact on our business," Dabur India Ltd CEO Sunil Duggal said. He, however, said this covered only about 20 per cent of the company's business and "we are still awaiting clarity on categories like health supplements, shampoos, packaged juices (among others)." Expressing similar views, Emami CEO (Finance, Strategy and Business Development) said: "It appears that the rate will benefit us and industry but we need to understand GST (rates) in entirety to comment on the subject." Edible oil industry body Solvent Extractors Association Executive Director B V Mehta said as far as the sector is concerned there is no change in tax. "It is a no gain no loss situation for us although we had asked the Finance Minister to classify edible oil in zero tax category," he said.
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