Love Marble As Building Material? It Just Got Cheaper
When you decided to give your home a do-over this Diwali, you may have bought materials such as cement and paint after paying a 28 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) on it. The rate of tax on purchasing goods such as granite and marble must have been the same. You would have liked to defer your renovation plans for, but, there was no getting away from the family pressure. You might have been hoping that a different kind of pressure – from the Opposition, of course – will force the Centre to slash GST rates on these commodities.
Well, it did.
In its 23rd meeting in Guwahati on November 10, the GST Council decided to reduce tax rate on a wide range of mass use items, including marble and granite, to 18 per cent from current 28 per cent, pruning the list of items attracting the top tax rate to only 50 from the earlier 227 items. In effect, the council has cut rates on 177 goods. Most of these items are mass-use products. This means the cost of running your household would see a deduction. In case you are going to build your own home, you would be paying much less for buying granite and marble, too. Items such as wall papers and plywood will also attract a lower amount of tax now.
However, those who expected a reduction in tax rates on paints and cement will be disappointed. The GST council has decided to keep the two important building materials in the 28 per cent tax slab. Those who plan to buy new washing machines and air conditioners will also be paying the same rate of tax.
Other items that may have moved to the lower tax slab could be handmade furniture and plastic products, say media reports.
"All types of furniture used to attract a 28 per cent tax under the GST. Wooden furniture is handmade by unorganised sector artisans and is mostly used by middle-class families and there have been demands for lowering tax incidence on them," says a report by Financial Express.
"Some items of plastic attracted 18 per cent GST, but goods such as shower baths, sinks, wash basins, bidets, lavatory pans, seats and covers, flushing cisterns and similar sanitary ware of plastics were under 28 per cent levy," the report adds, hinting these items may also have been brought in lower tax bracket.