GST meet starts today

Brunilde Fioravanti
Mag 20, 2017

The meeting of the Fitment Committee and preparatory meeting of the officers was convened at SKICC here today in this regard. The tax rate on gold has not been finalised yet, he said, adding that the Council will meet again on June 3.

Considering India has been trying to implement a Goods and Service Tax (GST) for well over a decade, the fact that, on the eve of its third birthday, the NDA has been able to get all state governments to agree to a tax-rate structure for both goods and services and to finalise most rules is a big step forward. On top of that there are over 60 services, like religious pilgrimage, healthcare, education, skill development, journalistic activities, which are exempt from service tax.

However, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley has been insisting on downsizing the list to less than 100 as exempting or lowering taxes for such a large number of items would defeat the very objective of GST regime.

The GST Council had decided on the tax slabs past year, with another "zero tax rate" on several items that approximately constitute half of the consumer price index basket including foodgrains.

At present, states have the provision to extend various tax exemptions, rebates, subsidies for industries, which is not possible under GST regime due to uniform tax rates across the country.

The government has made a decision to impose a cess on luxury and other goods with a cap of 15 per cent. The final list of rates will be placed today before the GST Council. The tax rates will also be decided keeping in mind their impact on inflation. The environment cess has been capped at Rs 400 per tonne. Around 1,000 security personnel will be pressed into service for sanitising the conference venue and the hotels where the officials will stay during the conference.

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