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The number of tax slabs in the Goods and Services Tax (GST)regime would be reduced with improvement in revenue, Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal said on Saturday.

With the exempted category, the existing tax slabs are of 5, 12, 18 and 28%.

Defending the different slabs, he said the central government was trying to introduce the new tax system with the consent of states and did not want to impose it.

“The Centre could have taken decisions in the GST council on the basis of majority but that was not done,” the Minister said at an interactive session organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce.

Meghwal also said as many as 13.2 lakh new dealers have registered themselves in the system after the implementation of GST. Out of which, 56,000 were from West Bengal, the highest in India.

He said the total number of registered dealers in the indirect tax system in the pre-GST regime was 80 lakh.

Describing the GST Network (GSTN) as a “perfect system”, he said: “We must be facing some teething problems but it is a perfect system. The new system will remove inspector raj and there will be no human interface. The government will improve the GSTN system.”

He said the GST Council would take a decision on how to extend the excise duty benefits for the entities with operations in the northeast.

Meghwal also said the Council would address the problems that are coming out in the reverse charge mechanism.

In GST, reverse charge means the liability to pay tax is on the recipient of supply of goods or services instead of the supplier of such goods or services.

Later, at a session organised by the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Minister said around 1.78 lakh shell companies have been identified by the government.

With the objective to improve corporate governance and the ease of doing business, the Centre brought amendments to the Companies Act and the Companies (Amendment) Bill which was passed by the Lok Sabha is expected to be passed by the Upper House in the next session, he said.

Mentioning the increase in the tax net of direct tax, he stated that 91 lakh new tax payers have been registered this year and it resulted in a net increase of 20 per cent direct tax revenue.

Speaking on the growth of the Gross Domestic Product, he said that the growth of the economy would increase and the Centre would study the suggestions of the latest Economic Survey which flagged some risks to growth.

First Published | 13 August 2017 11:24 AM
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Arun Jaitlety

GST in India

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