12%, 18% GST rates can be merged to new slab, says Sushil Modi

Kolkata, Dec 8: Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Friday said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, of which he is a member, would examine the possibility of merging the 12 and 18 per cent tax rates to a new slab, depending on the stabilisation of revenue.

Modi has also suggested it that price tags displayed on items be inclusive of all taxes.

“The GST Council will put an effort to examine the possibility of merging the tax rates of 12 per cent and 18 per cent to a new slab which will be in between the two tax rates. There are about 50 items in the bracket of the 28 per cent tax rate and the number of items can be reduced from the highest rate.

“All these can be implemented after stabilising of revenue and depending on tax buoyancy,” he said, while addressing an interactive session organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce here.

More than 90 per cent of issues related to tax rates have been resolved after the Council brought down 178 items from higher rates to lower one, he said.

“I have given a suggestion to the GST Council that final price tag on items should be inclusive of all taxes. I hope the proposal would be approved by the Council.”

Referring to the revenue growth of states after the implementation of VAT in the country, he said revenue for both the Centre and states would grow and the GST regime stabilises.

The council will consider bringing petroleum products, electricity duty and property stamp duty into the GST ambit, he said.

Acknowledging that the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and the textiles sector have been facing most of the problems in the initial days of GST regime as they were exempted from paying taxes in the past under the VAT system, he said the council has been making efforts to address the problems.

Refuting the allegations that the GST Network system was slow and return filing became a daunting task from dealers, he said: “Despite teething problems, the issues relating to GST Network are reducing. The filing of 13 lakh returns per day would not be possible if the network runs slowly.”

He said the Group of Ministers appointed to oversee the function of GST Network would meet on December 16 with IT firm Infosys which developed the GSTN platform, to sort out the technical glitches of the system and to make it more user-friendly.

Modi said compliance issues in GST would be sorted out soon so that return filing would be easier.


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