GST Rates in India


Pramit Pratim Ghosh | Nov-21-2019


Ever since GST or Goods and Services Tax regime was announced, there has been a wide speculation about the GST rates bracket. The GST Council is the body that decides the rate slabs and the GST Council has been periodically revising the list of goods and services for each rate slab.

It’s clear that the Government’s intentions are to have lower tax rate for goods and services which are essential needs and higher tax rates for goods and services that are considered as luxury supplies.

Here’s a curated a list of GST rates structure for various goods and services, classified across the different GST tax slabs –

GST Exemption List - Goods & Services



Poultry Products – Fresh Meat, Fish, Chicken, Eggs

Hotel Services priced at less than INR 1000

Dairy Products – Milk, Curd, Butter Milk, Jaggery (Gur), Lassi, unpacked Paneer

Education (exemption continued from before)

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables

Healthcare (exemption continued from before)

Food Items – Natural Honey, Flour (Atta & Maida), Pulses, Basmati Rice, Gram Flour (Besan), Bread, Vegetable Oil, Religious Sweets (Prasad), Common Salt


Cosmetics & Accessories – Bindi, Vermillion (Sindoor), Bangles


Stationery – Stamps, Judicial Papers, Printed Books, Newspapers


Handloom Products


Textile – Jute, Silk




Essential Goods & Services at 5% GST slab



Dairy Products – Skimmed Milk Powder, Milk food for babies, Condensed milk, Packaged Paneer, Cream

Railway Travel

Frozen Vegetables

Economy Class Air Travel

Food Items – Sugar, Spices, Edible Oil, Pizza Bread, Rusk, Sweets, Fish Fillets, Tapioca (sabu daana)

Cab Aggregators (e.g. Uber & Ola)

Beverages – Coffee, Tea, Juices


Apparel – below 1000 INR


Footwear – below 500 INR


Fuel – Kerosene, LPG, Coal


Solar Panels


Common Utilities - Broom


Medical Goods - Medicines, Stents






Textile – Cotton, Natural Fibre and yarns


Incense Sticks (Agarbatti)


Standard Goods & Services at 12% GST slab



Dairy Products – Butter, Cheese, Ghee

Non-AC Hotels & Restaurants

Packaged Dry Fruits

Business Class Air Travel

Food Items – Snacks (Namkeen & Bhujia), Packaged Chicken, Sausages, Jams, Sauces


Beverages – Fruit Juices, Packed Coconut Water


Apparel – above 1000 INR


Personal Hygiene – Tooth Powder


Stationery – Exercise Books, Notebooks


Common Utilities – Sewing Machine, Umbrella


Ayurvedic Medicine


Mobile Phones


Standard Goods & Services at 18% GST slab



Dairy Products – Ice Cream

Accommodation at hotels with tariff of more than 2500 INR but less than 7500 INR

Preserved Vegetables

Supply of food / drinks in AC / 5 star and above rated restaurants

Food Items – Flavoured refined sugar, Pasta, Corn Flakes, Pastries, Cakes, Soups, Instant Food Mixes, Processed Foods

Telecom Services

Beverages – Mineral Water

IT Services

Branded Garments

Financial Services

Footwear – above 500 INR

Works Contract

Personal Hygiene – Tissues, Toilet Paper, Hair Oil, Soap Bars, Toothpaste

Cinema Tickets worth 100 INR or les

Stationery – Envelopes, Fountain Pens


Electronic Equipment – Printed Circuits, Monitors


Iron & Steel Products


Biri wrapper leaves (Tendu Patta)




Textile – Man-made fibre and yarn


Special / Luxury Goods & Services at 28% GST slab



Food Items – Chocolates, Chewing Gum, Custard Powder

Accommodation at hotels with tariff of more than 7500 INR

Beverages – Aerated Water

Race course betting

Personal Hygiene – Deodorants, Shaving Cream, After Shave, Hair Shampoo, Dye, Sunscreen, Perfume, Face Creams, Detergents

Cinema Tickets worth more than 100 INR

White Goods – Vacuum Cleaner, Shavers, Hair Clippers, Washing Machines, Dish Washers, Water Heaters & other Home Appliances






Automobiles & Motor Vehicles*


Housing Materials – Paint, Wallpaper, Ceramic Tiles, Cement


Weighing Machines, Vending Machines, ATM




Luxury / Demerit Goods* - Pan Masala, Tobacco, Bidis, Aerated Drinks & Motor Vehicles


*Note – Luxury / Demerit Goods as listed above will also attract a compensation cess over and above the GST rate of 28%

Articles outside the GST Tax Rate Slabs

  • Gold, gems, jewellery – 3%
  • Rough Precious & Semi – Precious Stones – 0.25%

Treatment of Luxury / Demerit Goods

In addition to the rates which have been fixed for major categories of goods and services, the GST council has approved the compensation rates for 5 luxury / demerit items. The proceeds of this cess will go into the compensation fund which would be used to bridge any tax revenue gap for states in the first five years of GST. The items that will be levied with the compensation cess, over and above the GST tax rates which are applicable on them are as follows:


GST Rate Applicable

Approved Cess Range

Cess Ceiling



INR 400 / tonne

INR 400 / tonne

Pan Masala






61% - 204%

INR 4170 / thousand

Aerated Drinks




Motor Vehicles


1% – 15%




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