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GST rate structure needs rejig, says Hasmukh Adhia

The 23rd meeting of the GST Council would be held in Guwahati on November 10

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia
Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia in New Delhi. (File photo: PTI)

Some rejig in the rate structure of the goods and services (GST) is required to reduce the burden on small and medium businesses, Secretary has said.

The GST, which amalgamates more than a dozen central and state levies like excise duty, service and value-added (VAT), will take about a year to stabilise, he told PTI.

“There is need for some rejig in rates... it is possible that some items in the same chapter are divided. There is a need for harmonisation of items chapter wise and wherever we find there is a big burden on small and medium businesses and on common man, if we bring them down, there will be a better compliance,” said.

Nearly four months since its introduction, the new indirect threw up teething troubles and compliance issues, which the Council — the highest decision-making body of the new regime — has addressed through several rounds of changes.

To ease hassles facing medium and small businesses in paying taxes and filing returns, it has tweaked various aspects of the new indirect regime to make it industry friendly. The turnover threshold for composition scheme, under which businesses can pay taxes at a nominal rate, has been hiked to Rs 1 crore from Rs 75 lakh earlier. Also, small businesses with up to Rs 1.50 crore turnover have been allowed to file returns and pay taxes quarterly, as against monthly earlier. Also, the Council has rationalised rates on over 100 commodities and made refund process easier for exporters.

Adhia, however, said the rejig would require some calculations by the fitment committee, which will decide which items need a rationalisation of rate under the regime, which kicked in from July 1.

The Council has already cleared an approach paper for items to be considered for rationalisation but it is not binding and the council can always make deviations from the approach paper.

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“We are very keen to do it as early as possible, it depends on how much time the fitment committee takes to work on it. They need data, calculate loss. They need various comparisons. But harmonisation has to be done,” he said.

The 23rd meeting of the Council, chaired by Union Finance Minister and comprising representatives of all states, would be held in Guwahati on November 10.

When asked how much time it would take to stabilise the system, said: “It will take one year. Because it is a new system for everybody... There has been a complete overhauling of system in GST, so one year is needed. If you see the experience of VAT, there was opposition for one year. People were on streets because nobody knew what is, the last fellow was only paying sales There was more opposition that time than this.”

The has subsumed over a dozen taxes and transformed India into a single market for seamless movement of goods and services. Introduced in 2005, had replaced the earlier sales systems. 

was a on sale or purchase of goods within a state and was levied by state governments.


First Published: Mon, October 23 2017. 02:11 IST
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