Mercedes Benz slams hike in cess

11 September, 2017, 16:49 | Author: Patsy Dennis
  • Luxury car companies divided over higher cess

The cabinet has chose to revise tax for larger cars and SUVs, as it wants to ensure that no undue benefits are given to manufacturers in the GST era. Likewise, the cess will remain unchanged for hybrid cars and 13-seater vehicles, finance minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after the council's 21st meeting.

Computer monitors of size of up to 20 inches will attract 18 per cent GST against 28 per cent, thus bringing monitors from 17 inch to 20 inch size under the same tax bracket.

Tax on mid segment cars had gone down from 48 per cent to 43 per cent and the council made a decision to increase cess by 2 per cent to 45 per cent, he said.

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The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has reduced rates on 40 products, majority daily use items, rendering them cheaper for the consumer, while the cess on mid and high-segment cars went up by 2-7 percent, which is likely to raise the prices of these cars.

GST Council had also chose to decrease the tax rate on a list of 40 items. The luxury cars term has not been announced clearly by the council. An ordinance was promulgated last week to hike the cess from 15 per cent to up to 25 per cent.

Under the GST regime, cars attract the highest tax slab of 28 per cent and on top of that, a cess is levied. Audi and Mercedes Benz opposed any new separate higher-tax category for luxury companies. "Whatever is the impact of the increased cess will reflect in the revised pricing from the effective date". The Council raised the cess, to fix this anomaly.

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The Council has basically restored pre-GST relative excise duty differentials between the various categories of vehicles.

The automobile industry had pitched a similar hike to the GST Council because it felt that same hike for all segment of vehicles will affect the middle-class people. The luxury auto makers, however, are strongly opposing the measure, saying they are already paying higher duty and should not be categorised into a separate heavier-tax segment. Products like the Duster, Ertiga, Innova, Compass, Creta, Scorpio, XUV, Fortuner, Hexa and even the ones from premium brands now attract a tax rate of 50% (28% base +15% cess + 7% hike).

While these auto segments were the most to benefit in the previous GST rates, as it was much lower than the pre-GST rates.

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