Arun Jaitley: Single standard GST instead of two in the works

Updated: Dec 25, 2018, 13:36 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

It could be a rate at some mid-point between the two standard rates of 12 and 18 per cent

Union Minister Arun Jaitley
Union Minister Arun Jaitley

A future road map could well be to work towards a single standard Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate instead of two standard rates of 12 and 18 per cent, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday.

"It could be a rate at some mid-point between the two standard rates of 12 and 18 per cent. Obviously, this will take some reasonable time when the tax will rise significantly. The country should eventually have a GST which will have only slabs of zero, 5 per cent and standard rate with luxury and sin goods as an exception," he wrote in a Facebook blog.

Elaborating, the Finance Minister wrote, "With the GST transformation completed, we are close to completing the first set of rate of rationalisation -phasing out the 28 per cent slab except in luxury and sin goods."

Jaitley also made a scathing attack on the Congress party and stated that those who oppressed India with a 31 per cent indirect tax and belittled GST must "seriously introspect".

"Irresponsible politics and irresponsible economics is only a race to the bottom," he said in the blog. The political noise outside was "inconsistent" with the harmony inside the GST Council.

'GST affecting J&K tourism negatively'
The GST has had a "negative" effect on tourism in Jammu and Kashmir, a parliamentary panel has noted, adding the Centre should reconsider the indirect tax regime on tourism-related activities in the northern state. The Committee on Development of Tourism in J&K, in its report, said that sourcing of products and materials is an issue in the state.

It said unlike other states, business owners here spend huge amounts on procuring essentials, most of which have to be flown in, which increases their capital expenditure.

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