Skip to main content

Good Days may Follow Goods in Highest Tax Slab

Good Days may Follow Goods in Highest Tax Slab
DIPP feels lower rate for select items under 28% slab will boost demand, help MSMEs
India could review the application of the highest 28% slab under the goods and services tax (GST) and consider imposing a lower rate on items of frequent use, with policymakers supporting a move along these lines.Such a move will reduce prices of many goods, thus helping to boost demand. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has pitched for such a shift to revive industry, especially small businesses that are regarded as engi nes of employment generation.
“There is a need to relook at the 28% slab,“ said a senior government official. “Some of the goods placed in that bracket are manufactured by MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) and they are feeling some pressure.“ Items in the 28% slab include washing machines, refrigerators, electrical fittings, cement, ceiling fans, watches, automobiles, tobacco products, nutritional drinks, auto parts, plastic furniture and plywood
The move will have to be approved by the GST Council, the apex decision-making body for the new tax, which is scheduled to meet in Guwahati on November 9-10, when the matter could come up for discussion.Top government officials have hinted at such a move over time. The feeling in the finance ministry is that non-luxury items in the 28% slab should gradually be moved to lower rates.
Trade and industry bodies have lobbied the government for moving items out of the top tax rate, which was meant to be imposed on luxury and so-called sin goods such as tobacco items.“The arbitrary creation of 28% tax slab has greatly distorted the scope and spirit of true GST,“ said the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT). It should be restricted to luxury and demerit goods, it said.
Some states, especially those ruled by the Congress party are likely to raise the matter at the upcoming council meeting. The GST Council had at its last meeting in October adopted a concept paper that laid down guidelines for changes in rates. According to this, no manufactured goods should be given outright exemption as this would hinder the Make in India initiative. States should opt for direct subsidy transfers if they wanted to reduce tax incidence on any item.
For the 28% bracket, the paper said goods of mass consumption or public interest, intermediate goods and those predominantly manufactured in the unorganised MSME sector and export-related items could be considered for review, subject to revenue implications.This would mean GST rates stabilising over a period of time with more need-based items first in line for tax cuts.
Tax experts said the highest bracket shouldn't have too many items.“The 28% category should ideally be limited to very few products, which qualify as luxury or sin goods, in line with recommendations in chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian's report on the GST rate structure,“ said Pratik Jain, indirect tax leader, PwC India.
“Any successful GST regime is based on a wider tax base and moderate tax rates. Therefore, most of these products should be gradually brought down to 18%. Also, there is a case for reduction of tax on services from 28% to 18%.Jain said this will also help in simplification of the tax structure by reducing the multiple slabs to two or three over the next few years.
The Economic Times, New Delhi, Ist November 2017

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

RBI minutes show MPC members flagged upside risks to inflation

RBI minutes show MPC members flagged upside risks to inflation Concerns about economic growth and easing inflation prompted five of the six monetary policy committee (MPC) members to call for a cut in the repo rate, but most warned that prices could start accelerating, show the minutes of the panel’s last meeting, released on Wednesday. The comments reflected a tone of caution and flagged upside risks to inflation from farm loan waivers, rise in food prices, especially vegetables, price revisions withheld ahead of the goods and services tax, implementation of house rent allowance under the 7th pay commission and fading of favourable base effect, among others. On 2 August, the panel chose to cut the repurchase rate—the rate at which the central bank infuses liquidity in the banking system—by 25 basis points to 6%. One basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point. Pami Dua, professor at the Delhi School of Economics, wrote that her analysis showed “a fading economic growth outlook, as …

Shrinking footprints of foreign banks in India

Shrinking footprints of foreign banks in India Foreign banks are increasingly shrinking their presence in India and are also becoming more conservative than private and public sector counterparts. While many of them have sold some of their businesses in India as part of their global strategy, some are trying to keep their core expertise intact. Others are branching out to newer areas to continue business momentum.For example, HSBC and Barclays Bank in India have got out of the retail business, whereas corporate-focused Standard Chartered Bank is now trying to increase its focus on retail “Building a retail franchise is a huge exercise and takes a long time. You cannot afford to lose it,” said Shashank Joshi, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ’s India head.According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, foreign banks’ combined loan book shrunk nearly 10 per cent from Rs 3.78 trillion in fiscal 2015-16 to Rs 3.42 trillion last financial year. The banking industry, which includes foreign banks…

Differential Tax Levy under GST: Food Firms May De-Register Trademarks

Differential Tax Levy under GST:Food Firms May De-Register Trademarks The government’s decision to charge an enhanced tax rate on trademark food brands is leading several rice, wheat and cereal manufacturers to consider de-registering their product trademarks. Irked by the June 28 central government notification fixing a 5 per cent goods and services tax (GST) rate on food items packaged in unit containers and bearing registered brand names, the industry has made several representations to the government to reconsider the differential tax levy, which these players say is creating an unlevel playing field within these highly-competitive and low-margin industries. Sources say that the move has affected the packaged rice industry the hardest and allowed the un-registered market leaders, India Gate and Daawat, to gain advantage as compared to other registered brands such as Kohinoor and Lal Qilla. Smaller players are even more worried with this enhanced rate of tax (against the otherwise …