With predictions of Goods and Services Tax increasing the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by 2%, this vital legislation -- at least in the short term -- may emerge as a mixed bag for a common man. While most of the services could turn out to be expensive as stock prices rise up temporarily, goods and merchandise will also see a huge flux in MRPs in the coming days.
In the long run, GST might have a favorable influence on most of the sectors of the economy. The immediate impact though, could be very limited. As has been the experience post GST implementation in other countries, India could also see an inflationary effect during its transition phase. This would fade away as the legislation sinks in and measures such anti-profiteering comes into operation. This is good news for businesses, but what of the common man?
Many middle-income families are worried about the possible rise in prices of important commodities like gold, cars, and electronic appliances such as refrigerators, laptops, ACs, washing machine, etc. The 'aam aadmi' is still confused about whether or not to buy a product before or after 1st July so that they could save some hard-earned money. Here's a list of products that you can buy before the roll out of GST and bring home a good deal.
Once the Goods and Services Tax (GST) goes live, the prices of gold will rise marginally following the decision of imposing 3% tax on gold. The new rate is a slight increase with respect to the current rate of 2% imposed on gold. This rise of 1% of tax would be passed over to the end customer.
From July 1, you would have to shell more to buy a new mobile handset as the government has imposed GST of 12% on this product. Mobile phones might get expensive by 4%-5%, which would make the devices manufactured locally more costly. If you need a new phone, the right time to buy it is now!
Laptops/Computers & Peripherals
Laptops/Computers and other peripheral accessories are all set to become costlier once the Goods and Service Tax comes into effect. The GST Council has slated the tax rate on desktops and laptops at 18%, which is higher than the existing rates of 14%-15%. Peripherals like printers and monitors below 17 inches will be sold at decreased prices post GST, so if you need these it might be wiser to wait till 1st July.
In case you are planning to buy a sedan or a diesel hatchback, now is the best time to take your call. Bring your ride home before the Goods and Service Tax rolls out as dealers wishing to liquidate most of their current stock are offering huge discounts and lowering prices on the choicest vehicles.
For those eyeing a big SUV or a luxury car, or even a hybrid car; GST will bring with it increased prices for this sector. So, if you need a new set of wheels, you should act before the new month.
For small and medium entrepreneurs, an immediate effect of the Goods and Service Tax might be the increased premium outlay due to the higher rates of tax on insurance policies. Tax rates on insurance will increase from 15 to 18 percent post GST which will have to be borne by the end customers. Buying a short-term insurance policy like fire insurance and marine insurance with a one-time payment before GST will help you save on premiums.
Presently, the average tax on air conditioners is 23% which will increase to 28% after July. Currently, dealers are clearing stocks by providing heavy discounts on these appliances so if the summer has got you down, then it is the right time to get an AC home.
As with air conditioners, televisions are also going to become expensive under the Goods and Service Tax regime by at least 4-5 percent. The existing tax rate on televisions is around 22-23 percent. Under GST, these will be in the highest tax bracket of 28%. If flat screens and LEDs are your poison, buying them now can save your bank from breaking.
The market will go through an inevitable upheaval across sectors once GST is implemented. As we see above, the price hike in many cases is within the 4-5% range and is not drastic. For the middle-class though, the pre-GST period is a bonanza of discounts and stock clearance sales and you truly can make a killing buying these products now!