Doing away with the highest 28 percent tax slab is what the government must aim to further simplify the GST framework. In addition, ensuring a uniform rate of cess is also necessary to make the indirect tax regime more comprehensible, outgoing Chief Economic Advisor Subramanian said at an event hosted by The Indian Express. “I think the 28 per cent rate has to go. The cesses may have to remain, but there should be just one rate on cesses… Today, we have GST rates of zero, 3 per cent (for gold), 5 percent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent and 28 per cent. We need to rationalise but I think at the first instance the 28 percent should go,” Advisor Subramanian said.
The cesses may stay but there is no need to have multiple GST rates, he added. “I am saying that in an ideal system the 28 per cent rate has to go. The cesses may have to be there because we are going to have higher rates for some products but there shouldn’t be multiple rates even here. In my report, we had called for one 18 per cent rate and then 40 per cent rate. Cesses are a different way of implementing the 40 per cent rate,” he said when asked about if cesses should be removed.
Hasmukh Adhia on GST
Meanwhile, as GST enters its second year, the government is planning to bring out some more changes to the existing structure of this indirect tax. Not only this even e-way bill system will undergo further stabilisation. Designing and testing of the new return filing system, stabilising the e-way bill system and minor corrections in the GST-related laws, which may come up in the monsoon session, will be the 3 key focus areas of the government in the second year of GST, Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia told The Indian Express in an interview.
On being asked about the desired GST revenue collections level for this year, Finance Secretary said, “We hope to get at least an average of Rs 1 lakh crore for this year. It may vary from Rs 95,000-1,05,000 crore or maybe more or maybe less. But, end of the year, our expectation is that we should be getting an average of Rs 1 lakh crore (a month). It will build up over a period.