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We want to bring 99% things in sub-18% GST slab, says PM Modi

We want to bring 99% things in sub-18% GST slab, says PM Modi
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Mumbai: Indicating that further simplification of the goods and services tax (GST) is on the anvil, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that his Government wants to ensure that '99 per cent things' attract sub-18 per cent GST slab. Before implementation of the goods and services tax, registered enterprises only numbered 65 lakh, which has now risen by 55 lakh, Modi said, addressing the Republic Summit here.

"Today, the goods and services tax system has been established to a large extent and we are working towards a position where 99 per cent things will attract the sub-18 per cent goods and services tax slab," Modi said. The Prime Minister indicated that the 28 per cent slab of GST would be restricted only to a few select items, such as luxury goods.

The Prime Minister said that the effort will be to ensure that 99 per cent of all items, including almost all items used by the common man, would be kept at a GST slab of 18 per cent or less. "We are of the opinion of making GST as smooth as possible for the enterprises," he said.

"In earlier days, the goods and services tax was framed according to the existing VAT or excise tax structures exercised in those respective states. (With) the discussions held from time to time, the tax system is getting improved," Modi said.

"The country was demanding the goods and services tax for decades. I am pleased to say that the goods and services tax implementation has removed contradictions in the trade market and efficiency of system is improving. The economy is also getting transparent," Modi said.

Even a small tax reform in developed countries is not easy, he said. Modi also spoke of his government's commitment to root out corruption."Corruption had been taken as a new normal in India. It was 'Chalta hai'. Whenever anyone used to speak up, someone would say, 'This is India. This is how it is'," Modi said.

"Why should it be like this?" he said. When companies used to be unable to repay loans, nothing used to happen to them and their owners, he said. "That is because since the start, they had been given protection from probes by certain 'special people', he added. Modi also dwelt on his government's initiative to provide gas connections to households.

"Till 2014, only 55 per cent houses in the country had a gas connection. Imagine that. Our government is working towards finding permanent solutions and ending those practices that have held progress back for decades," he said. The work to build a New India is going on, he said.

Meanwhile, a Finance Ministry analysis of GST rates shows that tax on commonly used household items like TVs, refrigerators, washing machine and electrical appliances has been slashed to 18 per cent post GST rollout from over 31 per cent earlier. The GST implementation has also brought down tax rates on luxury goods like air conditioners and automobiles.

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