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GST council meet on Saturday: Here's what experts have to say

Updated : December 21, 2018 23:38:29 IST

ndicating that further simplification of the Goods and Services Tax is on the anvil, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government wants to ensure that '99 percent things' attract sub-18 percent GST slab.

The GST council is scheduled to meet on December 22. The Prime Minister indicated that the 28 percent slab of GST would only be restricted to a few select items, such as luxury goods.

There were around 226 goods in the 28 percent category, when the GST was implemented on July 1, 2017.

In its July meeting, the GST Council had further rationalised the 28 percent slab by cutting rates on paints and varnishes, and on daily-use items like perfumes, cosmetics, toiletries, hair dryers, shavers, mixer grinder, vacuum cleaners, lithium ion batteries, and cut rates to 18 percent.

The 35 goods, which are left in highest slab include cement, automobile parts, tyres, automobile equipments, motor vehicles, yachts, aircrafts, aerated drinks, betting and demerit items like tobacco, cigarette and pan masala.

CNBC-TV18 caught up with MS Mani of Deloitte and tax expert Rohan Shah to discuss what they expect from the meeting.

Mani said, "Revenues have been under pressure, there are no two views on that. They have been under pressure and they continue to be under pressure. Having said that we also need to understand that in the past when there have been rate cuts, subsequent to that we have not seen as sharp a dip in revenue as was anticipated."

So, possibly what is happening is, when there is a rate cut, the level of compliance goes up, the number of people paying tax goes up and the tax base expands, he said.

Shah said, "Whatever we are seeing in terms of statements whether made by the Prime Minister or the finance minister and the buzz is that 28 percent slab will cover only very few items, you could call them sin goods but the coverage will be very limited and which is what it ought to be."

The greater move that we have towards 18 percent which in most countries is the sort of mean rate, the better off we will be in terms of having a GST of the type that we originally envisaged, he said.
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