New Delhi: Government confirmed on Monday that the GST applicable to smartphones, cement and medicines will make it cheaper. GST is applicable countrywide from July 1.

Union and State Finance Ministry who runs GST Council across the nation finalised the groups of the items and services to be included in its various categories.

At present 15% of tax is levied on smartphone which includes 2% central excise duty, VAT, which varies from state to state. On another side, there was much difference found in state to state smartphone prices which did not balance the pocket for technology users.

“The weighted average VAT rate on smartphones works out to about 12 percent. Thus, the present total tax incidence on smartphones works out to more than 13.5 percent. As against this, the proposed GST rate for smartphones is 12 percent,” the finance ministry said.

Taking Medical expenses, it is currently carrying 13% tax which will be reduced to 12% under GST.

Puja samagri, including havan samagri, has been kept under the “nil” category, though the exact formulation for the same is yet to be finalised.

Coming to cement, under GST, the tax has been lowered down to 28% which is whopping 31% at present. This should give benefits to every cement related business and entities.

Similarly, there will be a lower tax burden in case of medicaments, including ayurvedic, unani, siddha, homoeopathic or bio-chemic systems.

In short:

* The proposed GST rate for smartphones is 12 per cent, against the present total tax incidence of more than 13.5 percent

* Medical devices will also attract a GST of 12 per cent, compared to more than 13 per cent at present

* Puja samagri has been kept under the ‘nil’ category, though exact formulation for the same is yet to be finalised

* Packaged cement will be taxed at 28 percent, as against 31 per cent on account of different indirect taxes

With the inputs of PTI.