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( 12 Jul 2018)
Merit-based GST rate rationalisation possible in next council meet: Goyal

The GST Council may look at rationalising tax rates on some items on the basis of merit after ensuring right balance with revenue mop up, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said as per the PTI report.

The council, in its next meeting on July 21, will also discuss ease of filing returns as well as ease of assessment, he added.

“GST Council has already reduced rates on 328 items, so you may possibly find some chance (of rate reduction) where there is a meritorious reason. It has to be in balance with revenue consideration,” Goyal said.

When asked whether the GST Council could consider lowering rates in its next meeting, Goyal said the council had been very responsive to industry demands, and whenever there were inverted duty cases or any case that merited attention, rates were reduced to ensure ease of doing business.

Under the GST regime, there are four rates -- 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent and 28 per cent. Rolled out on July 1, 2017, GST had subsumed over a dozen local levies and transformed India into a single market with seamless flow of goods.

In the first year of GST in 2017-18, the government earned Rs 7.41 lakh crore from the tax since its roll out in July. The average monthly collection was Rs 89,885 crore.

In the current fiscal, the collections in April touched a record Rs 1.03 lakh crore, followed by Rs 94,016 crore in May and Rs 95,610 crore in June.

Also, the council is likely to finalise the form for simplified return filing as was approved by the council in its last meeting on May 4.

It was decided that the current system of filing summary returns (GSTR-3B) and final sales returns (GSTR-1) would continue for six months.

Post that, a new return software would be ready; and in second phase, the new return would have the facility for invoice-wise data upload and for claiming input tax credit on self-declaration basis, as in the case of GSTR-3B now.

During this stage 2, the dealer will be informed about the gap between credit available to them as per invoices uploaded by their sellers and the provisional credit being claimed by them.

After six months of this phase 2, the facility of provisional credit will get withdrawn and input tax credit will only be limited to the invoices uploaded by the sellers from whom the dealer has purchased goods.