GST slab rejig: Govt can rationalise rates in many other items, but here’s what should be watched

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Published: October 16, 2019 1:06:12 PM

Even as the government can go for rate rationalisation in many other items, the revenue and budgetary requirements of the states and the Centre must be considered, revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey.

GST Network, GSTN, GST return filing, Prakash Kumar, GST tax payers, GST CouncilOn September 20, the GST Council announced a rationalised rates on a variety of items ranging from caffeinated drinks to hotel room.

Even as the government can go for rate rationalisation in many other items, the revenue and budgetary requirements of the states and the Centre must be considered, revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey told The Indian Express in an interview. “There is also a point that how frequently you should go and change the rates, some stability to settle down is also very-very important. Industry must be sure that this is the kind of a tax rate which should be there, and should prevail over a certain time, so that they can plan their business accordingly,” he added.

On September 20, the GST Council announced a rationalised rates on a variety of items ranging from caffeinated drinks to hotel rooms with an aim to simplify and rationalise taxation. The rates on caffeinated drinks such as coffee were hiked to 28 per cent from 18 per cent, while the  rates on hotel rooms with tariff above Rs 7,500 have been cut to 18 percent, down from 28 percent. The Council also approved nil GST rates on hotels with tariff up to Rs 1,000. In addition, the almond milk GST rate has been set at 18 per cent by the Council. A uniform GST rate of 12 percent was approved on polypropylene and polyethylene (woven and non-woven) whether or not laminated for packing.

Meanwhile, a high-level panel has been set up by the government to recommend measures to augment GST revenue collection.  The government last week constituted the panel of officers to suggest steps to expand the tax base and check evasion in the backdrop of falling revenue collections under GST. The collections dipped sharply to a 19-month low in September to Rs 91,916 crore, reflecting the slowdown in the economy.

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