Centre was not playing big brother role in fixing GST Rates: Sitharaman

Vastavam web:  Maintaining that the Center was not playing big brother role, Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman today suggested that any state could forego its share of GST if it wanted to lessen the tax burden. Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, made this remark referring to the agitation by Tamil Nadu film industry over the high rates of tax on cinema tickets.”In fact, they (Tamil film industry) have no issue with the GST. It is the additional 30 per cent local bodies tax levied by the state government that they are agitated about,” the minister told reporters here today.

“GST Council is a constitutional committee and the correct strength of it is in the states. This is a classic example for cooperative federalism,” the minister pointed out. GST rates were fixed by following the revenue-neutral philosophy, she added.Asked why liquor and petroleum products were not brought under the ambit of GST, she said the states requested that a decision on them be deferred.

Replying to another question, the union minister said GST would be favorable for investments as the tax structure would be uniform across the country.”Investors now need not worry about tax rates, say in Andhra Pradesh or Odisha. Also, they can have clear assessment of the costs (on raw materials) as there is a single tax. GST will also help exports as the logistic cost will reduce,” the minister noted.