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T N Ninan: Simplifying GST rates

The only way to minimise logical inconsistencies, lobbying for classification changes and confusion about the applicable rates is to apply the 12% and 18% rates to almost all items

T N Ninan

The Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council has done what it should have done five months ago: reduce drastically the number of items in the 28 per cent tax category. There was no shortage of protests when the bloated top tax rate list was first announced, but everyone in the government chose to turn a deaf ear to the lamentations of a GST rate so high that it should not have existed in the first place—and does not exist in almost any country which has a value-added tax system. Now that the number of items to attract this tax rate has been reduced to 50, and a huge number of items of ...