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GST Council to trim list of items in 28% tax slab

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council is set to further amend tax rules to fix glitches in the new indirect tax system and make it easier for businesses and traders to settle into it.

The move comes as a tacit admission by the authorities of the flaws in the system that have made it hard for businesses and traders to make a smooth transition, and that the system started off with high compliance requirements.

The original GST structure, designed as a sophisticated IT-driven tax regime meant to increase transparency and compliance, is now being re-calibrated to make it easier for taxpayers to adapt to it.

The GST Council is set to trim the list of items in the highest tax slab of 28% by shifting some items of common use as well as products made predominantly by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to a lower tax slab.The tax rate fitment committee, a panel of central and state officials assisting the GST Council, is rigorously combing through the list of items in the highest slab to identify such items, two people with knowledge of the development said on condition of anonymity.The GST Council wants to address the public perception of high tax rates on certain items of common use as well as give further relief to SMEs, which are labour-intensive.

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