GST on petrol, diesel to take time, might cut rates on furniture: Revenue Secretary

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Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia on Friday said that the bringing petrol and diesel under the GST regime will take time.

Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia on Friday said that the bringing petrol and diesel under the GST regime will take time, while saying that the government is mulling to cut GST rates on mass consumption items. TV reports citing agencies said that the government is looking to cut GST rates on mass consumption goods like furniture, plastic pipes, electric switches, while clearly ruling out bringing fuel under the GST.

In the GST Council Meeting on Oct 6, the rate of diesel engine parts and pumps were reduced from 28% to 18%. The council also lowered tax rates on 27 products and a few services, while offering relief to exporters and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The government, in the past, has also ruled out bringing fuel under the GST even as Oil and Petroleum Minister had been advocating for it strongly.

The revenue secretary also said that the government cannot cut GST rates on consumer durable goods. He added that no GST profiteering case has been referred to any probe body yet.

Hasmukh Adhia also said that states might not be keen on bringing realty under the GST. Currently, the GST regime slots items under four primary tax rate slabs — low rate of 5%, standard rates of 12% and 18%, and high rate of 28%. Other than this, gold and jewellery are taxed at a concessional GST rate of 3%, while rough diamonds are having a 0.25% levy. Earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hinted at lesser tax slabs in future. He said that once the country becomes revenue neutral under the GST, the government can think about lesser tax slabs. “We have space for improvement, eventually once we become revenue neutral (under GST), to think in terms of bigger reforms such as lesser slabs, but for that, we have to become revenue neutral…,” the Finance Minister said.

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