"In each of the last three-four meetings (of the GST Council), about 20-30 items were brought down from the 28% slab to the 18% slab". Finance ministers of 24 states have confirmed their participation.
Some items of plastic attract an 18 per cent GST but goods such as shower baths, sinks, wash basins, bidets, lavatory pans, seats/covers, flushing cisterns and similar sanitary ware of plastics attract a 28 per cent levy. "The GST fitment committee has also recommended reducing tax rates from 18 per cent to 12 per cent on a number of goods", Modi said. Meanwhile, Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi who is part of the GST Council has said that tax rates on 80 per cent items falling under the 28 per cent bracket are expected to be reduced. The whole idea is that as your revenue collection neutralises, we must prune it (the list of items in the top slab).
The GoM has also suggested doing away with the tax rate distinction between AC and non-AC restaurants not covered under the composition scheme, and tax them at 12 per cent with input credit. According to the reports, the Council may slash taxes on certain common use items such as handmade furniture, plastic products and daily use items like shampoo. Wooden furniture is handmade by unorganised sector artisans and is mostly used by middle class families and there have been demands for lowering tax incidence on them.
Former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and other senior Congress leaders have been arrested today while demonstrating outside a hotel, the venue of the GST Council meeting, here.
In a bid to promote digital payments under GST, the Council could also consider incentivising merchants and traders by providing benefits in terms of credit or exemption within central and state GST. The GST Council has been meeting every month since the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime came into effect on July1.
Penalty on delayed GST returns filing could also be reduced to Rs 50 from Rs 100, sources said.