Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the Goods and Service Tax (GST) has stabilised in a very short time that provides an opportunity to widen its base and further rationalise the rates in the future. Also, he said the GST has brought about an entire change in the indirect tax system in the country. Jaitley further said the GST has “stabilised in a very short time in India” as compared to various other countries. “Therefore, it gives us an opportunity in the times to come to increase its base and rationalise the structure as it continues to evolve,” he said at an event to mark the International Customs Day. At present, the GST has four rates of 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent and 28 per cent. It is to be noted that the GST Council in the November meeting had decided to keep only sin goods and white goods under the 28 per cent tax bracket and moved 178 items from the highest tax bracket to 18 per cent.
Thirteen items were moved from 18 per cent to 12 per cent bracket; 8 items from 12 per cent to 5 per cent; 6 items from 18 per cent to 5 per cent, while 6 other items moved from 5 per cent to zero per cent slab. Following the reduction on more than 200 items, the GST collections hit lowest in November from Rs 80,808 crore in the previous month. However, halting two months of decline, the collections gathered momentum in December, rising to Rs 86,703 crore. Total GST collections in October were over Rs 83,000 crore. In September, the GST mop-up was over Rs 92,150 crore.