May bring electricity, petroleum, realty under GST, target is to reduce tax slabs: Sushil Modi

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Published: December 14, 2017 6:44 PM

The GST Council will consider bringing electricity, petroleum products and some other items under the ambit of GST in future, Bihar Finance Minister Sushil Modi said.

GSTN, Sushil ModiThe GST Council will consider bringing electricity, petroleum products and some other items under the ambit of GST in future.

The GST Council will consider bringing electricity, petroleum products and some other items under the ambit of GST in future, Bihar Finance Minister Sushil Modi said. While speaking at the annual meet of industry chamber FICCI, Sushil Modi said, “Electricity, real estate, stamp duty and petroleum products should become part of GST (Goods and Services Tax). This would be our (GST Council) endeavour,” adding that the council may also bring down 28% tax rate.

The inclusion of these can happen without amending the Constitution, he said. He, however, said it would be difficult to specify any timeline for this to happen, PTI reported. Both states and the Centre earn 40% of their revenue from petroleum products at present.

The current GST regime has five tax slabs — 0%, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. An additional GST cess is also levied on certain products. Although the final decision would be taken by the Council, he said, “The possible scenario could be that the current highest tax slab of 28% could be brought down to 25% and two tax slabs of 12% and 18% could be merged into one.”

Sushil Modi, who heads the group of state finance ministers, said that GST Network is the backbone of the GST regime.Defending Infosys which has designed the architecture and responsible for running GST backend, he said, “I can say with confidence that we have hired the best company for this.”

Last month, tax rates on over 200 items, ranging from chewing gum to chocolates, to beauty products, wigs and wrist watches, were cut to provide relief to consumers and businesses. As many as 178 items of daily use were shifted from the top tax bracket of 28% to 18%, while a uniform 5% tax was prescribed for all restaurants, both air-conditioned and non-AC. Finance Minister, time and again, hinted at lower tax slabs in coming days if there is enough revenue buoyancy.

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