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Will make efforts to bring 99% things in sub-18% GST slab, says PM Modi

Modi also spoke of his government's commitment to root out corruption

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Narendra Modi
File photo of Narendra Modi

Indicating that further simplification of the Goods and Services Tax is on the anvil, Prime Minister said his government wants to ensure that '99 per cent things' attract sub-18 per cent slab.

Before implementation of the GST, registered enterprises only numbered 6.5 million, which has now risen by 5.5 million, said, addressing the Republic Summit here.

"Today, the system has been established to a large extent and we are working towards a position where 99 per cent things will attract the sub-18 per cent slab," said.

Modi indicated that the 28 per cent slab of GST would only be restricted to a few select items, such as luxury goods.

The Prime Minister said the effort will be to ensure that 99 per cent of all items, including almost all items used by the common man, would be kept at a of 18 per cent or less.

"We are of the opinion of making GST as smooth as possible for the enterprises," he said.

"In earlier days, the GST was framed according to the existing VAT or excise tax structures exercised in those respective states. (With) the discussions held from time to time, the tax system is getting improved," Modi said.

"The country was demanding GST for decades. I am pleased to say that GST implementation has removed contradictions in the trade market and efficiency of system is improving. The economy is also getting transparent," Modi said.

Even a small tax reform in developed countries is not easy, he said.

Modi also spoke of his government's commitment to root out corruption.

"Corruption had been taken as a new normal in India. It was 'Chalta hai'. Whenever anyone used to speak up, someone would say, 'This is India. This is how it is'," Modi said.

"Why should it be like this," he said.

When companies used to be unable to repay loans, nothing used to happen to them and their owners, he said.

"That is because since the start they had been given protection from probes by certain 'special people', he added.

Modi also dwelt on his government's initiative to provide gas connections to households.

"Till 2014, only 55 per cent houses in the country had a gas connection. Imagine that. Our government is working towards finding permanent solutions and ending those practices that have held progress back for decades," he said.

The work to build a is going on, he said.

First Published: Tue, December 18 2018. 12:10 IST