GST slab of 28 percent may become virtual “hollow shell” over next year: CEA

Vastavam web: Outgoing Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian today exuded confidence that the highest slab of 28 per cent tax under GST would be “virtually a hollow shell” over the next year or so. The all powerful GST Council comprising state finance ministers and headed by Union Finance Minister has pruned the highest 28 per cent slab by cutting tax rates on 191 goods over the last one year, including ACs, digital cameras, video recorders, dish-washing machines and automobiles. When the 28 per cent tax rate was imposed on certain items under GST, there was a political reaction against it, and the GST Council responded by “really whittling down. quite substantially” the number of products in that slab, Subramanian said in an interview to Rajya Sabha TV’s ‘To The Point’ programme. The CEA also said that a lot of effort and time was devoted to the simplifying the burden on small and medium enterprises.

To a question regarding lateral entry into government, he said: “I am lateral entrant myself. So how can I argue against that?” He stressed on the need to get talent from everywhere outside the government or outside the country as well. “You need specific expertise. I think the lateral entry is a good thing. Govt needs more talent than silicon valley,” said Subramanian, who would be leaving the finance ministry on July 30. He had joined the ministry in October 2014.