GST Council meet : Rate reduction on 150-200 items

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Guwahati : The Goods & Services Tax (GST) Council meeting is set to cut rates on nearly 150-200 items in its two-day meet, which starts today in Guwahati. The Council will also take up the issue of GSTN glitches to make filing process easier for the traders.

The Prime Minister’s Office is pushing for these changes aimed at reducing tax and compliance burden for millions of small traders, easing rules and cutting rates on many goods and services that currently fall under the 28 percent slab.

The Council could move as many as 165 items to the 18-percent slab from current 28 percent, leaving only 62 items under the higher slab, reports the Press.

Certain items under the 18 percent slab could also see cut in rates to 12 percent. The presentation could also discuss about the inclusion of real estate under the GST.

According to a report in the media, the GST Council could also discuss new measures to boost digital payments in the country. A government official said the government could look at incentivising digital transactions for both customers and traders.

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Benefits are likely to be in term of either credit or exemption to encourage e-payments. This, according to the government, will make digital transactions favorable.

To make filing returns smoother, especially for small traders, the GoM may recommend filing of only the summary return form GSTR3B, and doing away with filing GSTR1, GSTR2 and GSTR3.

Under the current process, traders have to file returns in GSTR1, GSTR2 and GSTR3 along with one annual return.

In October, the government had approved a proposal to allow tax payers with a turnover of less than Rs 1.5 crore filing quarterly returns to reduce the filing burden.

There have been many complaints from traders over the teething troubles including lack of clarity on return filing, errors in invoice matching, and major technical snags on the information technology portal GST Network (GSTN), among others.

Since its inception in July, rates and compliance rules have time and again changed under the GST. Till now, it has changed tax brackets for over 100 items.

Source : Moneycontrol

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