You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

GST rates: There’s scope for rationalisation, says Hasmukh Adhia

LiveMint logoLiveMint 30-05-2017 PTI

Bengaluru: Revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia on Tuesday said there is scope for rationalisation of tax rates fixed for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime and the intention of the government is to increase the revenue without hiking tax rates.

“One thing we would agree is that there is a scope for rationalisation of tax rates on various goods and services,” he said at a townhall meeting with industry representatives in Bengaluru. The GST Council, headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley and comprising his state counterparts, had earlier this month fitted over 1,200 goods and 500 services in the tax slab of 5, 12, 18 and 28%. GST, which will unify 16 different levies, will come into effect from 1 July.

Adhia said that the GST is a major customer-friendly indirect tax reform. The intention is not to increase the taxes but to increase the revenue by implementing GST as it would bring transparency, simplification and efficiency in tax administration and help in curbing tax evasion and thereby leading to tax buoyancy, he said. Ever since the fixation of tax rates, certain sectors have been seeking some relaxation in rate fitment and revenue department officials have been holding regular interactions with industry chambers to understand their concerns.

The next meeting of the GST Council is on 3 June. On concerns by representatives of the food processing sector, Adhia said a decision on the rates of foodgrains, especially wheat and rice, would be taken at the 3 June meeting. “We understand the food processing industry needs to be encouraged,” he said. He also argued that if these items were kept in the exempted category, the food processing industry will be losing. He said the council will take a view on the definition of branding.

On concerns raised by representatives of financial services sector, Adhia dismissed the fear of loans getting costlier due to GST implementation. “There have been some concerns raised in the financial service sector that loans and all of these will become costlier, no way (it is going to be so),” he said. “All people in financial services will know, we are not charging service taxes in deposits as well as loans, but taxes on other services. Loans are not going to become costlier. That is a misplaced fear, because of lack of understanding,” he added.

Adhia said that the GST would help in creating a lot of jobs for young people. He said India’s economic potential is much higher and the GST would help in converting the economic energy into real growth.

More From LiveMint

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon