ASSOCHAM welcomes CEA-led committee’s suggestions on GST rate

New Delhi, Dec. 5 : Apex industry body ASSOCHAM has welcomed the report of Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Arvind Subramanian- led panel recommending standard GST rate of 18 percent and lower rate of 12 percent on specified goods.

“This rate structure is quite appropriate and will be anti-inflationary for indigenous goods, however the cost of services will go up including some essential services like banking, telecom and information technology ( IT),” said ASSOCHAM in a statement.

“The CEA panel has also suggested highest rate of 40 per cent on sin and luxury goods but not identified which items will be treated as luxury goods, in such situation it is feared that list of such goods may be expanded by including large number of normally used items by large population which is not desirable,” the statement added.

ASSOCHAM further said such higher rate should only be applicable to sin goods.

“The removal of one per cent additional tax is a welcome step as it will remove the cascading effect on cost of indigenous production by four to six per cent as goods move four to six times during entire value chain,” it said.

ASOCHAM has always been advocating dropping proposed one per cent additional tax and levy of moderate GST Rates on all tradable goods and services, therefore the chamber fully supports the recommendations of the CEA-led panel to include petroleum products alcohol into the ambit of GST.

Further, it suggests that with respect to alcohol, in addition to GST, states may continue to collect additional state excise duty to maintain the current level of taxation on alcohol.

ASSOCHAM fully supports the CEA’s view that rates can’t be put in the Constitution Amendment Bill to make the rates inflexible, however the chamber feels that rates should be stable and predictable to attract investments.

A key government committee, headed by the Chief Economic Advisor, has suggested a standard GST rate of 17-18 percent, increasing chances of a consensus on the key reform so that the constitutional amendment that it entails can get passed in the current winter session as the clock ticks down to the April 1 deadline.

The committee has excluded real estate, electricity, alcohol and petroleum products while calculating tax rates, but has suggested to bringing them under the GST ambit soon. (ANI)