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Next step in GST recast: Lower end of tax slabs
November, 13th 2017

The next rejig of goods and services tax will likely focus on the lower end of the rate slabs, as the country seeks to further streamline the structure by converging multiple rates into two or three. It will happen after the regime settles down and there is more clarity on revenue following the recast last week.

Simplification of laws, rules and procedures in line with industry’s feedback is also likely to top the GST Council’s agenda in the next few meetings.

The rates on some items such as cement and paint, still left at the highest rate of 28%, could be brought down if tax revenue remains robust.

A top official with a state government said the focus would now be to recast the lower 12% and 5% rate slabs.

Other issues to be considered by the council are inclusion of real estate and petroleum products under GST.

The government has set up a group with industry representation to review the tax regime, which has since its July 1 launch been criticised for having too many rates and being burdensome to comply with.

The latest recast, decided at a GST Council meeting in Guwahati last week, has seen the 18% rate emerging as the dominant slab with nearly half the goods, apart from most of the services, now taxed at that rate.

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