GST Council to discuss Covid-19 impact on revenues, rationalising rates

New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) With coronavirus impacting trade and business, the all-powerful GST Council headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is set to discuss the implications of the virus outbreak on revenue collection.

Seeking to correct the anomalies in the inverted duty structure, ease of doing business and lower compliance burden, the GST Council is also expected to rationalise rates of four key items — footwear, mobile phones, fertiliser and man-made fibres, among other goods.

Official sources claimed that the increase in rates on various items would lead to “very marginal increase” in prices for the consumers.

“The increase in rates on chemical fertilisers from 5 per cent to 12 per cent would result in a little subsidy burden for the government. In case of other items, the impact on prices would be minor,” an official said.

He noted that the move was in accordance with the recommendation of the fitment committee and was aimed at removing inverted duty anomalies.

Inverted duty refers to tax rates on inputs being higher than those levied on finished products. This results in higher input credit claims by goods besides several administrative and compliance issues.

Currently, chemical fertiliser attracts a GST of 12 per cent, while its inputs are taxed at 12 per cent. Similarly, mobile phones attract 12 per cent duty, but GST on their inputs is levied at 18 per cent.

The official quoted above said that Infosys would make a presentation on GST system related issues and fixing them to ensure that taxpayers' grievances are resolved in time.

Ahead of the GST Council meeting, a group of officials comprising Central and state governments met on Friday in the national capital to discuss various taxpayer issues.



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