State ministers to review GST rates

Chennai: The Ministry of Finance has constituted two groups of state finance ministers for rationalising GST rates and to address challenges related to IT and revenue mobilisation.

The Group of Ministers looking at rate rationalisation will review the goods and services that are exempted from taxes in order to expand tax base and eliminate the breakage in input tax credit chain. It will eliminate instances of inverted duty structure and review the current tax slab rates. Under GST, the four-rate structure exempts a few essential products from taxes. For all other products, taxes range between 5 per cent and 28 per cent.

The seven-member panel, which would submit a report in two months, would be headed by Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai and include West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra, Kerala finance minister K. N. Balagopal, Bihar deputy chief minister Tarkishore Prasad.

Another council will review the IT tools and interface available with tax officers to suggest ways to make the system effective and efficient, identify potential sources of tax evasion and plug revenue leakage. It will also identify possible use of data analysis towards better compliance and revenue augmentation, identify mechanism for better coordination between central and state administrations and suggest timelines for changes.

The second council has eight members and is headed by Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and includes Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, Tamil Nadu finance minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan and Chhattisgarh finance minister T. S. Singh Deo.

"The GST Council has rightly set up the GoM to focus on enhancing revenue efficacy and plugging revenue leakage through data analytics and efficiency of GST administration," said Abhishek Jain, tax partner, EY.

"The GoM on rate rationalisation will focus on simplifying rate structure, correcting inverted duty structure, reduce classification related disputes and enhance GST revenues. All these areas are quite critical,” he added.


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