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Industry heads hailed the rise in GST collection, saying it indicated robust growth of the Indian economy | iStock photo

GST panel to discuss shifting of rate slabs, pruning of exempt items’ list

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The GST Council-appointed group on ministers (GoM), headed by Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, is meeting on Friday to discuss pruning the list of exempted items. The meet will also discuss a plan to shift rate slabs and a proposal to correct the inverted duty structure in textiles.

The GoM was set up in September last year by the GST Council to suggest ways for augmenting revenue by rationalising tax rates and correcting anomalies in the tax structure.

Also read: Non-BJP states prepare to pressurise Centre to extend GST compensation by 5 years

The panel, which was given time to submit its final report before the next GST Council meet, is likely to discuss a proposal to shift rate slabs from the current five per cent to seven or eight per cent; and from 18 per cent to 20 per cent. It might also discuss pruning the list of exempted items under the GST regime and also the proposal to correct the inverted duty structure in textiles.

In an inverted duty structure, the tax rate on inputs purchased is higher than that on finished goods.

GST Council to meet on June28-29

Currently, there are four GST slabs — 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent, and 28 per cent. The 18 per cent slab has 480 items, from which about 70 per cent of the GST collections come. Apart from this, there is an exempt list of items like unbranded and unpacked food items that do not attract the levy.

Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Karnataka, Goa and Kerala are GoM member-states. The recommendations of the panel, which last met in November 2021. once finalised, will be placed before the Council in the next meeting for a final decision.

The GST Council, which is the highest decision-making body under the GST regime, will meet from June 28-29 in Srinagar, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said in a tweet.

Not binding on Centre or states, SC rules

The Supreme Court last month in its ruling had said that the GST Council is only a recommendatory body and its recommendations are not binding on the Centre or states. The court also held that the recommendations of the GST Council will have a persuasive value and that both Parliament and the state legislatures can equally legislate on the matters related to GST.

Also read: Advice vs authority: SC ruling on GST Council’s ambit raises numerous queries

The gross GST collection in May was Rs 1,40,885 crore, a 44 per cent year-on-year jump. However, it was a drop of 16 per cent as compared to the GST collections in April. Of the gross GST revenue collected in May, CGST was Rs 25,036 crore, SGST Rs 32,001 crore, IGST Rs 73,345 crore (including Rs 37,469 crore collected on import of goods) and cess was Rs 10,502 crore (including Rs 931 crore collected on import of goods).

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