The GST Council, which is headed by the Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley is likely to discuss the reduction of rates of nearly 60 items in the upcoming meeting that is scheduled on 24th October 2017. In the previous meeting that happened a few days ago, as many as 100 items were on the list of council’s meeting, but only 40 items could be discussed because of the shortage of the time. Remaining items are expected to be taken up at the next meeting that is scheduled for 24th October.
An official confirmed that most of the remaining items (60 items) were the demands of the individual states now. After intense discussions and various brainstorming sessions for more than eight hours, the GST Council that comprises of state finance ministers and senior government officials took several important and crucial decisions. The council also discussed the technical glitches that the tax payers have been facing while filing the returns on GSTN. Keeping this in mind, the deadline to file the first set of returns was extended so that traders could file their returns in piece.
The council also decided to form a committee of a group of ministers that would look into the problems the traders and taxpayers have faced while using the GSTN. Along with these key decisions, GST rates of 40 items were slashed with the main items being tamarind, roasted gram, custard powder, dhoop, raincoats and rubber bands. The rates were brought down for these items from 28% to 18% or 18% to 12% in some cases.
As per a government official, the government is contemplating for the rate revision of various items that fall under the highest tax bracket of 28% though the final decision is yet to be taken.
GST currently has five major tax slabs, 0%, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% and apart from these, there is an additional cess on the luxury goods and goods such as tobacco, pan masala, and aerated drinks.