Vastavam web: Slabs under Goods and Services Tax (GST) can be reduced to three from five at present for the convenience of consumers and businesses though it will take some time, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi. In an interview Modi said that there are five slabs in GST and “there is an intention to reduce it to three slabs but it will take some time” as it is related to states’ revenue.
Reacting to questions raised by former finance minister P Chidambaram that why rates of 88 items were not reduced by GST council in 2017, Modi said: “This is not a decision where only BJP government is involved. The decision has been taken by GST Council in which congress led governments are also involved”. Modi said that average revenue from GST is approximately Rs 95,000 crore and in such situation rates are being reduced, which is leading to reduction in price of many consumer items and benefitting the middle class.
Mounting attack on Chidambaram, the deputy CM said that states had lost confidence in the then Congress government policies, because of which GST could not be implemented during its tenure. Modi was heading high-powered committee comprising finance ministers of different states considering roll-out of GST in 2012-13. The UPA government had assured that loss of states due to GST will be compensated by the Centre, Modi said, adding that CST rates were reduced to 3 per cent from 4 per cent from April 1, 2007, and from 3 to 2 per cent in 2008 for which states were compensated in the beginning, but payment of 2011-12 compensation was not given.