GST slab merger : Merger of Goods and Services Tax (GST) slab rates with only three rates of government and simplification of indirect tax system due to Russia-Ukraine war and spurt in oil prices Plans to build seem to be stuck for the time being. According to a Livemint report, this information has come out quoting the finance ministers of three states. It is noteworthy that N. Of. The 15th Finance Commission headed by NK Singh had also pressed for making three slabs of GST.
Due to the effect of inflation, the merger may be postponed.
Ministers included in the GST Council said that considering the effect of inflation, the merger of rates can be avoided. He said that the GST Council will assess the situation and decide on the timing of reforms. The Group of Ministers (GoM), which is tasked with regulating the rates, has met twice so far and not much progress has been made on its recommendations.
West Bengal Finance Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya, who is part of the GoM, said the panel’s meeting was expected to be held on November 27 but was postponed. Bhattacharya said, not much progress has been made in the matter of formulation of recommendations. The new date for the meeting of the GOM has not been announced yet.
GoM was formed under the leadership of Bommai
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj S. The Bommai-led GoM has been entrusted with the task of arranging tax rates and consolidating various slabs with a view to boosting revenue collections after June 2022. After June 2022, states will stop getting compensation for revenue loss from the Centre. Its other members include Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Tarakishore Prasad, Kerala Finance Minister K. N. Balagopal and the Finance Ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Goa.
A finance ministry official said that the meeting of the GoM could not be held due to non-availability of ministers from Uttar Pradesh and Goa. Now governments have been formed in these states, so the panel meeting will be held soon.
An email sent to a spokesperson of the Ministry of Finance in this regard did not elicit any response.
Not in favor of merger of rates: Sisodia
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Manish Sisodia said that the state is not in favor of any merger of rates, but will support rate cut, which will improve compliance. Sisodia said, “High rates encourage theft. Raising rates is never a solution. AI (artificial intelligence) based action and lower rates will improve compliance and increase tax collection.”
State Health Minister T.S., who represents Chhattisgarh in the GST Council. Singh Deo said that it is important to streamline the slabs to simplify the very complex GST structure.
3 tax slabs are planned
At present, there are four slabs in GST of 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent and 28 per cent. Essential goods are either in the lowest slab or there is no tax on them. Luxury and dimerist items are in the highest slab. Cess is also levied on luxury and sin goods with the highest slab of 28 per cent. This cess collection is used to offset the revenue loss incurred by the states on account of the GST rollout.
Of these, there is talk of merging the slabs of 12 per cent and 18 per cent to 15 per cent.