GST Council Meet Gets Underway in Guwahati, Congress Protests

GST Council Meet Gets Underway in Guwahati, Congress Protests

GST Council Meet Gets Underway in Guwahati, Congress Protests

Most of the rate cuts will be introduced for items that are now in the 28 percent GST bracket.

While the officials of state/union territory Finance Departments met during the first day of the meeting on Thursday, Finance Ministers of at least 24 states will meet on Friday, with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the chair to review the situation after three months of the new tax regime's implementation. The whole idea is, as your revenue collections neutralise we must prune it and that is the pattern in which the Council has so far been functioning. "There is a need for harmonisation of items chapter wise and wherever we find there is a big burden on small and medium businesses and on common man, if we bring them down, there will be a better compliance".

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who heads the panel on the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), today says the rates on over 200 daily-use items are expected to come down from 28 per cent to 18 per cent at the GST Council meet tomorrow.

One of the items which are expected to be taxed lower is handmade furniture. The GST fitment committee has also recommended reducing tax rates from 18 per cent to 12 per cent on a number of goods.

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"There are many luxury and sin goods which would be taxed at a higher rate and under that premise, a rate of 28% was agreed upon by the council".

"There is a need to look at bringing real estate sector within GST while balancing the needs of autonomy of states to levy stamp duty and property taxes and also keeping agricultural lands and old buildings outside the GST", said Badal. The turnover threshold for composition scheme, under which businesses can pay taxes at a nominal rate, has been hiked to Rs 1 crore, from Rs 75 lakh earlier. Currently, non-AC restaurants are taxed at 18 per cent. The objective behind lowering tax on these items falling in the top slab is to give more relief to the small businessmen and consumers. At present, while manufacturers pay GST at 2 per cent, the rate for restaurants is 5 per cent. Traders now pay 1 per cent.

The various items that may become cheaper in the near future include wooden furniture, plastic products, toilet and bath accessories, shampoo, etc.

"The highest rate should not be more than 18%", said Karnataka minister Krishna Byre Gowda who is a member of the GST Council, said on Thursday.

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