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Natural gas, jet fuel easier candidates for inclusion in GST: Hasmukh Adhia

As and when there is a discussion on these items in the GST Council, the Council will take a call on it," Adhia said

Goods And Services Tax  |  Gst Council  |  Hasmukh Adhia

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

gst, Hasmukh Adhia, Finance secretary
Hasmukh Adhia, Finance secretary

Days before the game changer (GST) completes one year, the government on Tuesday said natural gas and jet fuel (ATF) are 'natural' and 'easier' candidates for inclusion in the indirect tax regime.

In an interview to PTI, Finance Secretary said the call for including the two in would be taken up in regime's highest decision making body Council.

He, however, did not say if it would be on the agenda for the next Council meeting on July 21.

Since its launch on July 1 last year, the government has cut tax rates on a slew of goods and services as well as simplified rules in an attempt to rationalise the regime that reshaped India's industrial landscape as it widened the country's tiny tax base, removed myriad middlemen, vanquished border checkposts, freed up internal trade and made it easier to do business.

But, the challenge has been to bring cash cows crude oil, natural gas, petrol, diesel and ATF under GST. Oil yielded maximum revenue for both the central and state governments, and none seemed to want to let go of it.

While prevailing tax rate, made up of central excise duty and state VAT on petrol and diesel, is way beyond the 28 per cent peak tax rate under GST, tax incidence on natural gas and ATF is low enough to get fitted into one of the 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent GST tax bracket.

"We are conscious that there are certain items which are not part of GST. As and when there is a discussion on these items in the GST Council, the Council will take a call on it," Adhia said.

Asked whether discussions could start with natural gas and ATF, Adhia said: "Depends on what wants to discuss. But yes, among the 5 items, the two natural candidates for first level of discussion would be natural gas and aviation turbine fuel. GST Council can decide what it wants to discuss, but these two are easier".

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First Published: Tue, June 26 2018. 20:26 IST