GST Council to lower rates for certain goods on Sunday meeting

GST Council to lower rates for certain goods on Sunday meeting

After a vociferous demand for a downward revision of GST rates for certain goods and services, the GST Council has decided to do a rate re-adjustment in its meeting here on Sunday.

The finance ministry said that the 16th GST Council, slated to meet here on June 11, may revise some rates following a review of industry representations.

"The main agenda of the 16th GST Council meeting includes confirmation of the minutes of the 15th GST Council meeting held on June 3 and approval of amendments to the draft GST Rules and rate adjustment, if any, based on the representations received from different trade and industry and their associations," the ministry said in a statement.

The GST rates for motor vehicles including the hybrid ones are expected to be revised downward. GST rates for sectors such as telecom, IT hardware and insurance may also be looked into, informed sources said.

The GST rates for hybrid vehicles have been put under the highest tax plus cess bracket (28%+15%). The entire automobile industry had spoken in one voice against the sharp increase in rates from the current over 30%. India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India's Chairman R C Bhargava had called the move as “an inadvertent error” and “against government's stated policy”.

Maruti sells its Ciaz and Ertiga fitted with mild hybrid engine. Hybrid vehicles run on a mix of electric power and conventional which emit less pollutants than cars run purely on petrol and diesel version.

The telecom sector has been placed under 18% tax bracket and demanding it be lowered. Most of the rates under the GST regime have been set at 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. Tax rates for gold have been fixed at 3% and rough diamond at 0.25%.

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