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11 November 2017, 01:46 | Kara Nash
Modi govt. has no option but to change GST rates: Chidambaram
In a massive decision, the GST Council today chose to revise its highest 28 per cent tax slab by removing most items from it, including chocolates, nutritious food, marble, deodorants, shaving cream and sanitary products, thereby bringing the number of goods in the slab from 227 to 50.
Another phase of GST Council meeting starts today in Guwahati. The GST council has effectively cut the rate on 177 goods. Besides, the meeting also chose to reduce the tax slab of various other items. As expected earlier, the all-powerful council agreed to slash GST rates on restaurant bills from 18 per cent to 5 per cent. Jaitley informed that GST rates in respect of restaurants including both AC and non-AC categories have been reduced to uniform five per cent from the existing 18 %. The Delhi Hotel and Restaurant Owner's Association president, Sandeep Khandelwal, welcomed the lower tax rates and said this would incentivise people to pay taxes. Value Added Tax (VAT) will continue to be charged for alcohol, which does not fall under GST. It is also likely to deliver its decision on the proposal for big businesses to file GST returns quarterly instead of monthly, and raising the sales ceiling for small businesses from Rs1 crore to Rs1.5 crore, thus enabling them to capitalise on the composition scheme are among the proposals before the GST Council.
The GST Council has been meeting every month since the new indirect tax regime was introduced on July 1, 2017. Under GST, various goods and services have been placed in the brackets of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent.
"Congress FMs letter to Mr Jaitley will set the tone for discussions in the GST Council today (Friday)", Chidambaram said in a series of Tweets.
"Government can no longer duck these issues", he said adding that the Gujarat elections had forced the government to heed advice of the opposition and experts on the flaws in the implementation of GST.
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