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  India   All India  23 Oct 2017  Some rejig in GST needed, says Revenue Secy Hasmukh Adhia

Some rejig in GST needed, says Revenue Secy Hasmukh Adhia

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Oct 23, 2017, 12:58 am IST
Updated : Oct 23, 2017, 1:00 am IST

The GST Council has already rationalised the rates on over 100 commodities, and made the refund process a lot easier for exporters.

Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia (Photo: PTI)
 Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia has said that some overhaul of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates is needed to reduce the burden on small and medium businesses and the common man. “There is a need for some rejig in rates... It is possible that some items in the same chapter are divided. There is a need for harmonisation of items chapterwise, and wherever we find there is a big burden on small and medium businesses and on the common man, if we bring them down, there will be a better compliance,” Mr Adhia told PTI.

The 23rd GST Council meeting is due to be held on November 10 in Guwahati. In view of the coming Assembly polls in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat that is expected in December, the government is worried about anger in the business community over GST and is looking at ways to pacify them. The Centre is trying to reduce the compliance burden of GST and bring down rates to win support from the trading community.

The GST Council has already rationalised the rates on over 100 commodities, and made the refund process a lot easier for exporters.

The revenue secretary said the overhaul would require some calculations by the fitment committee, that will decide which items need a rate rationalisation under the GST regime, which kicked in from July 1. He said the GST will take about a year to stabilise. “It will take one year. Because it is a new system for everybody... there has been a complete overhaul of the tax system in GST, so one year is needed,” said Mr Adhia. The GST Council has already cleared an approach paper for items to be considered for rationalisation, but it is not binding and the council can always deviate from the approach paper.

Mr Adhia said the committee will bring its suggestions to the GST Council as soon as possible. “We are very keen to do it as early as possible, it depends on how much time the fitment committee takes to work on it. They need data, need to calculate the revenue loss. They need various comparisons. But harmonisation has to be done,” he said.

The revenue secretary pointed out that there had also been opposition to VAT when it was first introduced in India in 2005. “People were on the streets because nobody knew what VAT is, the last fellow was only paying sales tax. It was more opposition that time than this,” he added.

Tags: hasmukh adhia, goods and services tax
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi