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GST Council slashes rates on 29 goods and 53 services

18 January 2018

The Goods and Services Tax Council at its meeting today decided to slash rates on 29 goods and 53 services, even as the council postponed a discussion on GST on petrol and diesel to its next meeting.

The revised GST rates will be applicable from 25 January.

Addressing reporters after the 25th meeting of the GST Council today, finance minister Arun Jaitley said there was a general consensus on simplifying the return filing process. However, he said, the GSTR 3B will continue till a final decision is be taken at the next council meeting.

''We discussed the simplification of return filing process in the meeting. Nandan Nilekani gave a detailed presentation on simplifying return filing process,'' Jaitley said.

The council also did not take up the simplification GST forms and clubbing them together into one form. Small traders have demanded clubbing together of GSTR-1, 2 and 3 forms into one

When asked whether petrol, diesel will be brought under GST, Jaitley said the issue is likely to be discussed in the next meeting. ''Today it was not discussed but it's possible it will be discussed in the next meeting,'' he said.

One area of concern, Jaitley said, was the low tax collection under the compensation scheme. The council discussed the issue at length Jaitley said, adding that there was discussion around getting the Reverse Charge Mechanism activated.

Among other things, the GST Council also reviewed the preparedness of GST Network (GSTN) in handling the return filing process as well as for implementing the e-way bill system with effect from 1 February. [Also read: Ahead of Budget 2018, GST Council May Lower Tax on 70-80 Items]

Under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rolled out from July last year, inter-state road transport of goods beyond 10 km, with a value of Rs50,000 and above, will mandatorily require e-way bill from 1 February.

GSTN has launched an initial trial run for e-way bill mechanism in which 10 states have joined. Others are expected to follow suit

Earlier, Prakash Pant, Uttrakhand's finance minister who is also a member of GST Council, said the body has decided to reduce tax rates on 29 items to zero percent. Pant added that the decision on tax rates on petroleum products still remains pending.

Talking to reporters after the GST meeting, Uttarakhand finance minister Prakash Pant said that tax rates on some agriculture products and some goods under the 12 per cent and 18 per cent were cut, while 29 handicraft products were brought under the 0% tax bracket. ''The Fitment Committee has approved relaxation on 29 handicrafts to 0 per cent,'' Pant added.

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