Business News

GST Council meeting: Congress-ruled states demand major overhaul, ask for highest tax rate at 18%

The party leaders said a lot of items of mass consumption are in the 28% slab.

Congress-ruled states on Thursday demanded that real estate, petroleum products and other items be brought under the new Goods and Services Tax regime. The GST Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, will meet in Guwahati on Friday, where it is expected to shorten the list of items mentioned in the 28% tax category.

The states of Punjab, Karnataka and Puducherry wrote to the finance minister demanding “nothing less than a complete overhaul of the GST structure”, reported The Economic Times. Besides bringing real estate and petroleum products under the ambit of GST, the party has complained about the glitches with the GST filing system and asked that the tax rate be limited to 18%.

“If GST is run properly in 150 countries, then why should it not run smoothly in India,” Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said at a press conference. The Congress is unanimous on these demands and that if GST is to be run, “it should be run properly”, Badal told PTI.

Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said the Congress had earlier asked the Centre to keep the GST rate not more than 18%. However, the government introduced five tax rate slabs of 0%, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. “We find that a lot of items of mass consumption are also in the 28% slab,” he said.

He proposed that a few exceptional luxury goods can be kept in the 28% tax slab, but construction materials such as tiles, bricks, cement, taps should not have been put in the same tax bracket, The Indian Express reported. “Earlier, there was overconfidence from the BJP side. Now that there is a general public outcry, now they have started listening…we welcome that they are willing to discuss,” he added.

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy claimed that the state’s tourism revenue has come down by 30% in the last three months because of high taxation in the hotel segment.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Children's Day is not for children alone

It’s also a time for adults to revisit their childhood.

Most adults look at childhood wistfully, as a time when the biggest worry was a scraped knee, every adult was a source of chocolate and every fight lasted only till the next playtime. Since time immemorial, children seem to have nailed the art of being joyful, and adults can learn a thing or two about stress-free living from them. Now it’s that time of the year again when children are celebrated for...simply being children, and let it serve as a timely reminder for adults to board that imaginary time machine and revisit their childhood. If you’re unable to unbuckle yourself from your adult seat, here is some inspiration.

Start small, by doodling at the back page of your to-do diary as a throwback to that ancient school tradition. If you’re more confident, you could even start your own comic strip featuring people in your lives. You can caricaturise them or attribute them animal personalities for the sake of humour. Stuck in a boring meeting? Draw your boss with mouse ears or your coffee with radioactive powers. Just make sure you give your colleagues aliases.

Pull a prank, those not resulting in revenue losses of course. Prank calls, creeping up behind someone…pull them out from your memory and watch as everyone has a good laugh. Dress up a little quirky for work. It’s time you tried those colourful ties, or tastefully mismatched socks. Dress as your favourite cartoon characters someday – it’s as easy as choosing a ponytail-style, drawing a scar on your forehead or converting a bath towel into a cape. Even dinner can be full of childish fun. No, you don’t have to eat spinach if you don’t like it. Use the available cutlery and bust out your favourite tunes. Spoons and forks are good enough for any beat and for the rest, count on your voice to belt out any pitch. Better yet, stream the classic cartoons of your childhood instead of binge watching drama or news; they seem even funnier as an adult. If you prefer reading before bedtime, do a reread of your favourite childhood book(s). You’ll be surprised by their timeless wisdom.

A regular day has scope for childhood indulgences in every nook and cranny. While walking down a lane, challenge your friend to a non-stop game of hopscotch till the end of the tiled footpath. If you’re of a petite frame, insist on a ride in the trolley as you about picking items in the supermarket. Challenge your fellow gym goers and trainers to a hula hoop routine, and beat ‘em to it!

Children have an incredible ability to be completely immersed in the moment during play, and acting like one benefits adults too. Just count the moments of precious laughter you will have added to your day in the process. So, take time to indulge yourself and celebrate life with child-like abandon, as the video below shows.

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.