GST on essential items was imposed after states requested it in order to combat evasion: Official

A top government official said that the GST on pre-packaged goods/food packets was imposed after several states complained about losing money.

The GST Council, not the Union government, made the decision to levy the tax, which went into force on July 18. It was considered by the Fitment Committee, which includes officers from various states and the federal government.

It was also proposed by a group of ministers (GOM) comprised of minister representatives from several states, and finally by the GST council, according to Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj.

Overall, the GST Council, the country’s new constitutional framework for making GST decisions, reached a consensus on the tax’s levy, he added.

He stated that the group, which is chaired by the Union Finance Minister and includes representatives from all states and union C regions, makes decisions when everyone is on board.


However, when sold loose and unpackaged, pulses, wheat, rye, oats, maize, rice, flour, suji, besan, puffed rice, and curd/lassi are exempt from GST.

The remarks come as opposition parties led by the Congress stymied Parliament’s functioning in the first week of the monsoon session over the imposition of GST on everyday commodities and other problems.

While states run by non-BJP parties were party to the Council’s decision to impose the tax last month in Chandigarh, noisy protests against the levy occurred just before Parliament’s monsoon session was to begin.

“This (tax on basics) existed in many states prior to the implementation of GST (on July 1, 2017) during the VAT regime. States were making money (from levying VAT on food items). When the new goods and services tax (GST) regime went into effect in 2017, it was expected that it would continue, but it was only charged on branded products when rules and circulars were issued “Bajaj stated.

The guidelines stated that if the brands handed up enforceable claims on the brand, the GST would not be imposed. As a result, several well-known businesses began to offer these things in packets that bore their brand but had no enforceable claim on it and thus did not attract the 5% GST.