GST council
Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Arun Jaitley chairs the 23nd GST Council meeting in Guwahati< Assam on November 10, 2017.Twitter

As many as three-fourths of the items in the 28 percent slab of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime have been brought down to the 18 percent slab by the GST Council in its 23rd meeting in Guwahati, Assam, on Friday, November 10.

According to the initial reports of the meeting, it is learnt that GST on items such as chocolate, chewing gum, aftershave, beauty products, powder, detergent and marble was lowered to 18 percent from the previous 28 percent.

After the pruning of the 28 percent GST slab, items in it have been reduced to 52 from 227. This will cost the government an estimated Rs 20,000 crore.

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi said he sees "...revenue loss of Rs 20,000 crore after the list of goods that remain in the highest tax bracket were pruned to less than one-fourth."

The council on Friday unanimously retained air conditioners, washing machines, paints and cement in the 28 percent tax bracket, ANI reported.

"GST on all items of common consumption has been reduced from 28 percent to 18 percent tax rate. Tax on goods of mass consumption like chewing gum, chocolates, shaving items, shampoo, skin creams, whose revenue implication is not much, has been reduced," Modi told reporters after the GST Council meeting.

A team led by Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma suggested the council to make no tax rate distinction between AC and non-AC restaurants not covered under composition scheme, the panel further suggested a uniform tax rate of 12 per cent.

Currently, 12 percent GST is levied on non-AC restaurants, while it is 18 percent for air-conditioned ones. The panel also proposed that eating out at hotels that have room tariff of more than Rs. 7,500 should attract a uniform 18 percent rate.