India: Jaitley hints at further rejig of GST

  • Finance minister Arun Jaitley hinted at further “rationalisation” of the Goods and Services Tax, depending on revenue buoyancy, and hit out at critics who linked rate cuts on about 200 items on 10 Nov 17 to the Gujarat elections. He said it was “juvenile politics” to link the reduction in rates to the state assembly polls.
  • “There is obviously scope for rationalisation of rates. In four months, we have rationalised the 28% slab,” he said at a select media interaction, adding that such streamlining will continue in the transition period.
  • “Such rationalisation in future, depending on revenue buoyancy, will take place… Procedural rationalisation will happen,” the minister said. “So, wherever there is scope, improvement and procedural simplification will always continue.”
  • “This rationalisation is a three-, four-month exercise, which the council and the fitment committee have recommended. These are all consensus decisions of the council,” Jaitley said, slamming critics for linking the changes to the Gujarat elections, scheduled in Dec 17
  • Jaitley said those who spoke of a single GST rate have no understanding of the tariff structure. “Luxury goods, sin products and products hazardous to environment and health can’t be taxed at the same rate as aam aadmi products,” he said.
  • “The fact that there is a single rate for products, all barriers have gone, inspectors have disappeared, you only have to address software. I think there is already a net advantage in the medium and long term – smooth and a larger market and revenue buoyancy,” he added.

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