India: Scope for reducing GST slabs after tax it becomes revenue-neutral: Jaitley – 2 Oct 2017

  • Finance minister Arun Jaitley on 1 Oct 16 indicated that the government would consider reducing the goods and services tax slabs and easing compliance burden for small taxpayers once revenues from GST are better compared to the previous tax regime.
  • “We have a space for improvement eventually once we become revenue neutral to think in terms of bigger reforms such as lesser slab, but for that we have to become revenue neutral plus,” Jaitley said
  • The GST has four slabs – 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% – plus zero tax for exempted goods and an additional GST compensation cess levied on certain products above the basic slab.
  • Tax experts consider this a complicated structure that needs to be simplified. The finance minister has now indicated that the compliance burden could be eased on smaller taxpayers. “We are in first 2-3 months (of the GST implementation),” he said. “We have almost by the day, a space and scope for improvement. We have a space for improvement and need for improvement to reduce compliance burden as far as small taxpayers are concerned.”
  • Jaitley said the burden of indirect taxes falls on everyone, so it is always an endeavour of the government to bring down tax on commodities that are widely consumed. “Direct taxes are paid more by the more affluent, somewhat by the others and certainly not by the weaker section, but the impact of indirect tax place burden is on all,” he said.

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