Centre denies reports of GST council planning to raise 5% tax slab to 8%

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The Central Government has categorically denied the media reports claiming that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council is planning to raise a five per cent tax slab to eight per cent, said the government sources.

The sources confirmed to ANI that there is no such proposal from the Council, this news is speculative and there is no truth in it.

Currently, GST has a four-tier slab structure of 5, 12, 18, and 28 per cent. Besides, gold and gold jewellery attract a three per cent tax.

Last year, GST council formed a Group of Ministers (GoM) on rate rationalisation, headed by Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, which includes West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, Kerala Finance Minister K N Balagopal, and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad.

Sources said that GoM has still not prepared its report on rate rationalisation and it is yet to be submitted to the GST council.

The date of the next meeting of the GST council is also not confirmed yet as the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is also the Chairman of the GST Council, is currently in the USA to attend the Spring Meetings organised by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, G20 meetings besides other associated investment meetings as part of her official visit to the USA beginning April 18, 2022.

The last GST council meeting, which was the 46th council meeting was held on December 31, 2021.

Essential items are either exempted or taxed at the lowest slab of five per cent, while luxury and demerit items attract the highest tax rate of 28%. On the top of the highest slab, a cess is levied on luxury and demerit goods.

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CA Ayush Poddar

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