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What the GST does for India’s millennial “urban poor”

Reuters/Mansi Thapliyal
Think before you buy.
Published This article is more than 2 years old.

These are already trying times for India’s millennials, and it’s going to get tougher.

For the country’s young professionals—including the “urban poor,” who apparently starve or live in cars to maintain their fancy lifestyle—India’s biggest tax reform could mean more frugality once it is implemented from July 01.

In what would be a watershed moment in India’s taxation history, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will replace various taxes levied by the central and state governments on goods and services. The GST rate slabs are fixed at 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%.

Unfortunately, many goods and services used by India’s millennials (and the urban poor) will attract a higher tax rate initially. However, their prices could fall if manufacturers and service providers cut costs after taking into account some tax rebates under GST. Meanwhile, online sellers will have to collect 1% GST from vendors but its impact on consumers is still unclear.

For now, here’s a handy list of what the GST will mean for everyday things. The information has been sourced from Crisil reports, GST rate documents  (pdf), and media reports. (The current tax rates for some categories could differ, according to states.) We will keep updating the list, as we get clarity about more products and services.

Product or servicePre-GST tax ratePost-GST tax rateDoes your tax rate go up or down?
Mobile phones6%18%Up
Mobile phone bills15%18%Up
Beauty and make-up products26%28%Up
Aerated drinks28-34%40% (28% GST+12% additional cess)Up
Instant Coffee26%28%Up
Five-star restaurants18%28%Up
Hotels with room rent above Rs5,00019%28%Up
Air travel (business class)9%12%Up
Mid-segment cars36-40%43%Up
Restaurants (air-conditioned)22%18%Down
Ola, Uber and other cab aggregators6%5%Down
Air travel (economy class)6%5%Down
Stationary (paper & pens)11-27%12-18%Down
Movies & entertainmentDepends on the state due to local-body taxes
Branded clothesUnclear as of now
AlcoholNot included in GST
GymExempt from GST (healthcare)

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