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High expectations as NE set to host first GST meet
10 November 2017, 01:51 | Darnell Patrick
Expect tax cuts on 80 pc items in 28 pc slab as GST Council begins 2-day meet in Guwahati today
The 23rd GST Council meeting got underway in Guwahati on Thursday evening while the opposition Congress agitated outside the venue protesting the negative impact of GST on small businesses, poor and marginalised sections of the society. "With a view to giving further relief to small taxpayers and consumers at large, it is expected that tax rates will be brought down from current 28 per cent to 18 per cent on over 200 items of daily use", he said before flying to Guwahati to participate in the two-day GST Council meet that began on Thursday.
The panel also recommended lowering tax rates for manufacturers and restaurants under the composition scheme to 1 per cent.
"Tax rates on 80 per cent of 227 items falling in top slab is likely to be reduced from 28 per cent to 18 per cent in the next GST council meeting".
Under GST, various goods and services have been bracketed in 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. We are hopeful that the suggestions provided by various trade bodies will be incorporated in the GST during the upcoming council meeting", Sobhapandit said.Sobhapandit added, "Various trade bodies have provided a number of recommendations so that doing business becomes easier and user-friendly under the new tax regime. "The whole idea is, as your revenue collections neutralises we must prune it", he had said. "I see that as a future guide as far as the Council is concerned", Jaitley had said.
The minister said that exclusion of electricity, crude oil, petrol, diesel, jet fuel, natural gas and real estate out of GST means that about half of total indirect tax revenue will be out of GST.
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The GST Council is also set to consider steps to ease the compliance burden for traders and businesses. Most of the daily use items could be lowered to 18 per cent.
Apart from bringing down the taxes, the GST Council may also take call on incentivising digital transactions for both customers and traders to boost digital payments in the country.
Another significant proposal that could come up for the GST Council's approval is the inclusion of the GST component in the maximum retail price of goods.
Penalty on delayed GST returns filing could also be reduced to Rs 50 from Rs 100, sources said.
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