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CAIT pitches for GST rates’ rationalization, review of Act and rules

Mail News Service

Jamshedpur, June 19:  The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has appreciated the rationalization exercise of GST rates by the GST Council and has urged Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman that along with the rationalization of rates a move should be made to review afresh the GST Acts & Rules that too require greater simplification. CAIT has planned to meet Finance Ministers of all States to put forth its demand. The CAIT will organize a two day convention of Trade Leaders of the Country at Nagpur on June 25 and 26 to draw a strategy for national campaign on both GST and e-commerce that will commence from July 1. Approximately 100 prominent trade leaders from all States will participate in brain storming sessions at Nagpur during the two day convention.

CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal had met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman a couple of days earlier and stressed the need for widening the GST tax base by simplification of GST Act and rules that would yield more revenue to both Central and State governments. Khandelwal also suggested formation of a Joint GST Committee in every district of the country comprising senior GST tax officials and trade leaders of the respective districts. The committees thus formed would be assigned the task of monitoring GST implementation and redressal of traders’ grievances and make all efforts to onboard more people under GST regime. The CAIT Secretary General also advocated that the rate rationalization of GST should be done after consulting stakeholders. He stressed on keeping textile and footwear under the tax slab of 5 percent.

CAIT’s National Secretary Suresh Sonthalia said that the trading community of India was of the opinion that presently a large number of items fell in wrong bracket of tax rate and therefore rates’ rationalization would provide an opportunity to recast the GST tax slabs and ensure right items in right tax rates to avoid anomalies and disparities.

CAIT informed that trade associations of the country under the Confederation’s (CAIT) banner had already begun deliberations on rates’ rationalization. CAIT authorities said that though the deliberations were at a preliminary stage, it has been opined that exempted categories should include essential items only and 5 percent tax slab should be made for raw materials or items used as integral part of any finished product and items related to Roti, Kapda aur Makaan including footwear. The trading community was also of the view that 12 percent tax slab should be abolished and replaced by a new slab of 14 percent which was a revenue neutral rate of 12 and  18 percent should be carved out for items falling currently in 18 percent tax slab. High value items like gold, silver, and jewelry of those items should be placed under 1 percent tax rate. CAIT felt that the 28 percent slab should be restricted to only such items while the rest items attracting 28 percent should be categorized under 14 percent tax slab.

Sonthalia said that for creation of a new tax slab in place of the 5 percent or any other new slab, a comprehensive opinion should be taken from all stakeholders as the matter directly related to trading community of the country. He said that dictum, ‘ lower the rate- higher the compliance’ should be adopted as a fundamental provision for deciding the parameters of rates rationalization.

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