GST Council likely to finalise tax rates shortly
The Centre has proposed 4-tier tax structure of 6, 12, 18 and 26 per cent, the peak rate being for FMCG and consumer durables.
According to sources, the Council comprising state finance ministers and headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley may opt for a lower rate of 5 per cent instead of the proposed 6 per cent.
The members may agree to raise the higher slab to 28 per cent rate from the proposed 26 per cent.
They may retain the 12 per cent and 18 per cent rate for certain categories under the Goods and Services Tax regime.
Sources also said that certain states are in favour of 40 per cent tax rate on tobacco.
The meeting will have to sort out the issues concerning tax rate to enable Parliament to approve the Central GST (CGST) and Integrated GST (IGST) legislations in the Winter Session beginning November 16 and pave the way for rollout of the new indirect tax regime from April 1 next year.
A state finance minister said "mood in the meeting is very good" and the Council is expected to seal the rate structure by evening.
On the issue of dual control or cross empowerment, another state minister said that there would be a generic line in the CGST Bill regarding jurisdiction of centre and states on taxes. The final touches would be given by GST Council.
As per the slab proposed the Centre, the items which are currently taxed between 3-9 per cent would fall in the 6 per cent bracket; those in 9-15 per cent range would come under 12 per cent rate.
Those products which are currently taxed between 15-21 per cent would attract 18 per cent levy while those above 21 per cent would be taxed at the peak rate of 26 per cent.