How Much GST Do You Eat in a Day? Analysis of GST on an Average Indian Diet

GST is omnipresent- But how much of it do you literally eat on a daily basis?
GST Rates - GST on Indian Diet - GST on an Average Indian Diet - Taxscan

An average Indian eats three meals a day. Ever wondered how much of your food budget goes to taxes? From your morning cup of chai to your late night snacks, every bite of your food contains a hidden ingredient – GST. In this article, we’ll break down the GST rates of common food items in the Indian Diet to provide a digestible guide on your average GST intake.

What are the GST rates of some of the household food items in India?

The following is a table breaking down the GST rates of some of the staple food items in India

Fresh fruits and vegetables, Curd (Unprocessed), Milk (Fresh and Pasteurized),Fresh meat, fish and chicken (unprocessed), Grains and Pulses (Unbranded), Salt0%
Sugar, Tea, Coffee (Except instant), Packed and branded dairy products, Edible oils,Frozen vegetables/meats, Bread,Branded Grains and Pulses,Spices,Masala powders,  Branded Wheat,Cereals and Flours, Seeds5%
Butter,Cheese,Ghee, Fruit Juices,Nuts, Sauces, Packaged dry fruits,Instant Noodles, Branded Namkeen and Savouries12%
Icecreams, Chocolate, Ready to eat packaged foods18%
Aerated drinks, Chewing gum, Food and drinks from 5-star hotels28%

Now, What is the Average Indian’s per-day GST Intake?

Let’s break down our meals into breakfast, lunch and dinner by taking some of the most popular dishes as examples

  1. Morning- A Typical Indian Breakfast
  • Dosa

           Unbranded Urad Dal ( 0% GST)

           Unbranded rice (0% GST)

           Salt (0% GST)

  • Coconut Chutney

            Fresh Coconut (0% GST)

            Edible Oil (5% GST)

            Fresh Ginger, Garlic, Green Chillies (0% GST)

            Unbranded Gram Dal (0% GST)

            Mustard Seeds (5% GST)

  • Tea

            Packaged Water (12% GST)

            Sugar (0% GST)

            Tea leaves ( 5% GST)

            Fresh Milk (5% GST)

  •  Noon- A Humble, GST-Dense Lunch
  • Chapathi

          Branded Atta (5% GST)

          Ghee (5% GST)

  • Vegetable Curry

        Fresh Vegetables (0% GST)

        Masala Mix (5% GST)

        Ghee (12% GST)

*If the person prefers a non-veg curry instead,  the GST rate would either be 0% or 5% depending on whether the meat is fresh or frozen respectively.

Recently, in a unique case related to GST classification challenges, the Kerala High Court ruled that Malabar ‘Parota’ should be classified as ‘bread’ and fall under Heading 1905 for taxation purposes. This decision goes against the earlier rulings of the Authority for Advance Ruling ( AAR ) and Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling ( AAAR ).

Read Also: Malabar Parota (Porotta) is classifiable as Bread, attracts 5% GST: Kerala HC strikes Down AAR Ruling

  • Evening- A Cup of Coffee with a pack of Biscuit

            Instant Coffee Powder (18% GST)

            Sugar (5% GST)

            Milk (0% GST)

            Branded Biscuit (18%)

*If your choice of snack is something like Namkeen/Chips or aerated/caffeinated beverages, then the GST rate can vary from 12% to 28%.

  •  Dinner
  • Rice and Dal

          Unbranded Rice (0% GST)

          Branded Lentils (5% GST)

          Masala Mix (5% GST)

          Butter (12% GST)

          Fresh ginger,garlic and chillies (0% GST)


GST is an unavoidable factor in our day-to-day life. Whether knowingly or unknowingly every single element of our consumption- From the food we eat to the services we use- is influenced by the GST regime. Even though the impact of GST rates on each of our transactions seems negligible, the cumulative of them all can leave a significant imprint on our daily expenses.

Learning more about the GST slabs gives us insight into the need to rethink the GST rates of certain staple food items such as packaged rice, meat, vegetables, and drinking water.

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