Monday, 5 June 2017

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As India enters the final lap in preparation of the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley expressed confidence in the proposed multi-tier GST rate structure and said he saw no reason why the tax should not be rolled out on July 1.

The FM discussed a whole host of issues, ranking from GST to NPAs and demonetization to GDP growth.


The FM defended GST’s four-slab rate structure, which some experts have said undermines the tax’s simplicity, and said it was prepared keeping ‘economic realities in mind’.

The FM has, in the past, said the aim of the GST Council, the all-powerful body of union and state finance ministers, was to align GST rates with existing tax rates as closely as possible so as to ensure minimal disruption.

Still, Jaitley said tax rates for several commonly-used items would fall. “Footwear tax has been brought down. Tax rate for marble, granite has been lowered. The entertainment tax weighted average currently is 29.1 percent. The GST rate is 28 percent,” he said.

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