GST Council spearheaded by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is set to conduct its 23rd meeting on Thursday and Friday. The Council is likely to amend the tax rules and address the glitches present in the new tax regime. Businesses and traders are facing difficulties in adapting to the new tax system due to some of the flaws and focus would be on eliminating them. 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.

“Tax rates on 80 per cent of 227 items falling in the top slab is likely to be reduced from 28 per cent to 18 per cent in the next GST Council meeting. The GST fitment committee has also recommended reducing tax rates from 18 per cent to 12 per cent on a number of goods. So far, tax rates have been slashed on more than 100 items,” Modi said. During the meeting, union and finance ministers are likely to clear pending proposals from a panel of ministers asking for cuts in the tax rate on restaurants.

Earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that some of the items falling under 28 per cent bracket should not have been there in the first place. “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. The whole idea is that as your revenue collection neutralises, we must prune it (the list of items in the top slab). That has been the pattern of the Council’s functioning. I see it as a future guide as well, as far as the Council is concerned,” Jaitley had said during a media conclave. The GST Council is also expected to throw light upon a GoM proposal asking to allow taxpayers to file their returns once in a quarter instead of every month. 

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