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With the country braced for the landmark Goods and Services Tax (GST) on Friday midnight, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has said that the GST will not alter the prices of essentials and daily use items like salt and soaps, news agency PTI reported. Since they have either been exempt from the unified tax system or that the tax on them has been kept at the current level, prices of these commodities will remain the same.

Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that the tax department had been working overtime to inform people about GST and added that it “will bring in transparency, help cut tax evasion and benefit honest taxpayers”.

From the total basket of goods used, essential and daily use items make up for about 80 per cent. Among other daily supply items, unbranded food staples including vegetables, milk, eggs and flour, and health and education services will also be exempt from GST.

Meanwhile, tea, edible oils, sugar, textiles and baby formula will attract only 5 per cent tax. Luxury items, which account for about 19 per cent of all taxable items, such as motorcycles, perfume and shampoo will be taxed at 18 per cent or higher.

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