Govt looks to review GST rates further

New Delhi : Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said the central government is open to further review of the GST rates of different items as it has just reduced taxes of 88 consumer-centric products such as refrigerators, washing machines and sanitary napkins.

Inaugurating the National Traders’ Conclave organised by the Confederation of All-India Traders here, he said the economic reforms undertaken by the Narendra Modi government during the last four years will push India among the world’s top economies.

“GST rates of several items have recently been slashed and many items have been brought under zero per cent and five per cent slabs. The government is open to further review of the slabs,” he said.

The Goods and Services Tax (gst) Council, in its 28th meeting on Saturday, approved rate reductions for 88 consumer-centric items such as cosmetics, refrigerators, washing machines, and small screen televisions, and cleared the widely demanded exemption on sanitary napkins. The home minister said out of 6.5 crore traders and shopkeepers, around 1.25 crore have registered under the new indirect tax regime. According to the Economic Survey, during November, 2016-2017, more than 1.15 crore returns have been filed.

The GST is a major tax reform in the country where only 6.10 crore people are under the taxation regime out of a population of more than 130 crore, he said.

Singh said in 2014, according to a survey by a reputed consultancy firm, India was ranked ninth among the world’s top 10 economies, and today the country has raced ahead of France to the sixth position.

“I am confident, as economists predict that in the next two-three years, India’s economy will be among the top five. With this pace of GDP growth, by 2030 we will break into the world’s top three economies,” he said. The home minister said India is the most attractive destination for foreign investors and the country received more than $150 billion FDI in the last four years, while in “Ease of Doing Business”, the country’s ranking has improved from 142 to 100.

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