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Will urge Centre to lower tax band for essentials:
August, 23rd 2016

The State government will demand the Centre to fix the tax on maximum retail price of commodities at 10 per cent and also lower the tax band for essential commodities at 5 per cent to 12 per cent range to pass on the benefits of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime to consumers, Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac has said.

After inaugurating a training programme on GST regime for Commercial Taxes Department Central Excise and Customs personnel here on Monday, Dr. Isaac told reporters that the Centre should frame a legislation to bring down the MRP, if needed or it would prove to be a windfall for the corporate companies.

Officials and political leaders should have clarity on the new tax regime to clear the apprehensions of the public as well as the stakeholders, mainly the traders.

Officials would have to face consumer as well as trader resistance on implementing the new tax system and they should be duly equipped to clear their apprehensions.

Patient interactions and negotiations would be needed to allay their fears on the system, he said. Bringing down the MRP is the greatest challenge. It would be a repeat of the experience during the implementation of VAT in the State. The gain should be for the consumers and not corporate companies.

The State government is gearing up to switch on to the new system. Servers would be upgraded next month.

The State would move to a system scrutiny that would end shop inspections. The degree of flexibility would be high in the new system and it would be more transparent. The self policing system would end arbitrariness in tax administration and the trail between sellers and consumers would become clear.

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