GST Council member Sushil Kumar Modi today said he is in favour of letting the tax revenues stabilise before the panel considers merger or further rationalising of slabs. “Let revenue stabilise and tax buoyancy come, then the Council will look into rationalising or merging tax slabs of 12 and 18 per cent,” Modi, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, said in his address to Bharat Chamber of Commerce members here. He said after the Council’s previous meeting at Guwahati last month, 90 per cent of the tax slab-related issues have been resolved and the rest too will be sorted soon. He said only 50 items remained in the top 28 per cent tax slab now. However, he remained bullish that revenue for both the Centre and states will grow and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime will stabilise. He acknowledged that most of the problems are being faced now by the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and the textiles sector as they were exempted from paying taxes in the past under the value-added tax (VAT) regime. Once the system stabilises, the Council will look into bringing petroleum products, electricity duty and property stamp duty into the GST fold, he said.
Speaking about GST return filing, he said despite teething problems, the GST Network issues are reducing. “Network issues are reducing. 13 lakh returns are being filed and in one hour, the network is capable of handling one lakh returns,” he said. He urged the industry to pass the benefits of tax reduction and also said the anti-profiteering committee has already been formed. Bharat Chamber President Sitaram Sharma said there are still a lot of network and credit-related issues that need to be sorted out.