Lower Taxes Ahead

Bowing to pressure from traders and perhaps with the sentiment in poll-bound Gujarat, the GST Council at its 23rd meeting in Guwahati, removed 178 items - including most consumer goods - from the 28 per cent peak bracket.
Anup Jayaram   New Delhi     Print Edition: December 3, 2017
Lower Taxes Ahead

Bowing to pressure from traders and perhaps with the sentiment in poll-bound Gujarat, the GST Council at its 23rd meeting in Guwahati, removed 178 items - including most consumer goods - from the 28 per cent peak bracket. Just 50 items are left in the list that includes luxury, sin goods and white goods. Since restaurants were not passing on benefits to customers, it lowered the rate on all restaurants from 18 per cent to 5 per cent, but without input tax credit benefits. The rate cut would mean a Rs 20,000 crore hit on the exchequer in a fiscal. It's the first major step to bring some clarity to the GST structure. Hopefully, this could well be the precursor to more such moves that make GST easier for traders and business.

Anup Jayaram

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