Govt hints at reviewing rates in top slab of 28%

After slashing the GST rates of over 200 items last month, the government on Saturday hinted at reviewing levies on the items in the top 28 per cent tax bracket.

On November 10, the GST Council, headed by Finance Minster Arun Jaitley, had lowered Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates on over 200 items, ranging from chewing gum to chocolates, to beauty products, wigs and wrist watches.

As many as 178 items of daily use were shifted from the top tax bracket of 28 per cent to 18 per cent, and a uniform 5 per cent tax was prescribed for both air-conditioned and non-AC restaurants.

"We have already reduced GST slabs of 12 per cent to 5 per cent and 5 per cent to zero per cent (on six items). Going forward, we may look at reviewing the 28 per cent slab," Union Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said at an event here this evening.

The GST Council had also pruned the list of items in the top 28 per cent slab to just 50 from 228 earlier.

Following this major rejig in GST rates, Jaitley had hinted at a further scope for rationalisation of rates.

"In four months, we have rationalised the 28 per cent slab. Such rationalisation (will happen in future) depending on revenue buoyancy," Jaitley said at an event last month.

Shukla said by March next year, the government will ensure that all the processes under the GST are simplified.

The GST, a landmark tax reform which subsumed a host of central and state levies, came into force on July 1.

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