Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday indicated that Goods and Services Tax slabs may be reduced in the future, once there is “revenue buoyancy”, PTI reported.
“We have space for improvement…once we become revenue neutral, [we can] think in terms of bigger reforms such as fewer slabs,” Jaitley said at an event organised by the National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes and Narcotics.
“We are in the first two-three months [of GST implementation]. We have space for improvement and need for improvement to reduce compliance burden as far as small taxpayers are concerned,” he added. Jaitley’s comments come at a time when his government has been criticised by various quarters, including Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha, for its implementation of the GST regime.
The minister added that India has conventionally been a “tax non-compliant society”. When people have the right to demand growth in the country, they are also responsible for paying for this development, he said. “You do not have to extort taxes from those who are not liable to pay,” he said.
Emphasising that the indirect tax burden is borne by all, Jaitley said the government always tries to bring down tax rates on mass consumption commodities.
What is GST
On July 1, the central government launched the Goods and Services Tax, which replaced all taxes on the manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and services across the country. The current slabs are 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. Certain products also attract an additional GST Compensation cess. Till September 25, the government had collected Rs 90,669 crore as revenue under the Goods and Service Tax for August, much lower than the Rs 94,063 crore collected in July.