Last month, Bollywood actor Rahul Bose tweeted how a Chandigarh-based five-star hotel billed him a staggering ₹442, including GST (goods and services tax), for just two bananas. The GST amount was ₹67.50 a 9% central GST of ₹33.75 and a 9% Union Territory GST of ₹33.75. The news seems to have fizzled out, but as a consumer, it’s important to know what’s the right GST amount you need to pay, and which items are exempt from GST altogether. Here are a few everyday items, across three categories, on which you don’t need to pay GST. There is no GST on fresh or pasteurized milk, buttermilk, curd, chena or paneer, and non-vegetarian items like eggs, chicken, fresh meat, and fresh or chilled fish. Fruits, vegetables, as well as unit container-packed froze branded vegetables (uncooked or steamed) are also exempt.
Other items on this list include natural honey, hulled cereal grains like barley, wheat, oat and so on. Palmyra jaggery, all types of salt, flours like a gram or pea flour, coconut, fresh or dried, whether or not shelled or peeled, all kinds of whole spices like seeds of anise, fennel, coriander, cumin or caraway, are exempt. Even items like papad, except when served for consumption, Bread (branded or otherwise), and pizza bread are exempt. Water (other than aerated, mineral, purified, distilled, medicinal, ionic, battery, de-mineralized and water sold in sealed containers) have no GST.