GST Council meet begins, tax on 80% items of top rate slab likely to be slashed

New Delhi: Tax rates on 80 percent items of top 28 percent slab are likely to be slashed at the GST Council’s 2-day meeting starting in Assam’s capital Guwahati on Thursday.

“Tax rates on 80 percent of 227 items falling in top slab is likely to be reduced from 28 percent to 18 percent in the next GST Council meeting. The GST fitment committee has also recommended reducing tax rates from 18 percent to 12 per cent on a number of goods”, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who is also a member of the GST Council, yesterday said at a function at the Bihar Chamber of Commerce.

As per reports, officers from finance departments of various states will convene on November 9 while Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will head the meeting on November 10.

The GST Council, which comprises of representatives of all states, have already rationalised tax rates for over 100 items. The Council has last month approved an approach paper to be followed by the fitment committee while deciding on future rate revisions.

In further relief to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), GST Council is likely to rationalise tax rate in sectors where the total incidence of taxation has gone up because the goods were earlier either exempt from excise or attracted lower VAT rates in the previous indirect tax regime.

The GST Council has been meeting every month since the GST rollout on 1 July. The meetings have resulted in an array of changes to ease compliance burden on businesses as well as provided relief to consumers.

Under GST, various goods and services have been bracketed in 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. GST has subsumed over a dozen taxes, including excise, service tax and VAT, and transformed India into a single market.