GST council tipped to lower rates on common-use items

RSTV Bureau
FILE: 21st meeting of GST council held in Hyderabad on 09 September 2017. Photo - PTI

FILE: 21st meeting of GST council held in Hyderabad on 09 September 2017.
Photo – PTI

The Goods and Service Tax (GST) council is likely to lower the 28% tax on some common-use items. The panel is likely to rationalize the tax rate in sectors where taxation has gone up. The council headed by union finance minister Arun Jaitley, is scheduled to meet on November 10.

According to reports, the council may consider lowering tax rates on goods such as handmade furniture, plastic products and daily-use items like shampoo, and simplify return filing rules. The report says it may further provide relief to small and medium enterprises.

The Congress has pressed for simplication of the process of filing GST returns and has been asking the government to consider lowering tax rates on daily use items

The principal opposition party, which has been criticising the government over its economic policies, alleged that the tax reform measure turned out to be a “big disappointment” due to its “poor” implementation.

“GST has thus turned out to be the biggest destroyer of the Indian economy for which successive generations will pay a price beyond redemption. It requires an urgent and holistic fix. Nothing less will do,” the Congress ministers said in a statement.

“The results are there for all to see. Tax collections are nowhere close to expectation. It is obvious that taxpayers are shying away from coming into the tax net fearing the might of the government agencies,” it further said.

The new tax measure was rolled out this year with government hailing it a biggest tax reform since Independence.

(With inputs from PTI)