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India

Bring petroleum products, electricity and real estate under GST: CII president

CII president Sanjiv Puri

NEW DELHI, JUNE 14: The Modi 3.0 Government should streamline the goods and services tax (GST) into a 3-rate structure and extend it to petroleum products, electricity and real estate, CII president Sanjiv Puri said on Thursday.
Addressing his first press conference since assuming office last month, Puri advocated the rationalisation of the capital gains tax, a crucial suggestion in the CII’s 14-point agenda for the new administration.
“The Government should consider a road map for rationalising and simplifying the capital gains tax and TDS provisions”, he said, stressing the need for consistency in tax rates and holding periods of various financial instruments.
On indirect taxes, Puri urged the Government to expedite GST reforms in consultation with the GST Council.
Reducing the number of GST rates from 4 to 3 is one of the proposals: this could involve merging the 12% and 18% rates to create a 15% rate or combining the 5% and 12% rates into an 8% rate.
There are 3 standard GST rates at present: 5%, 12% and 18%, along with a de-merit rate of 28%.
On India’s economic outlook, Puri said the economy would grow 8% this fiscal against 8.2% last fiscal, driven by a robust recovery in agriculture and strong public investment.
The RBI had forecast 7.2% growth for the fiscal.
The manufacturing sector, however, is expected to see a deceleration in growth from to 8.4% from 9.3%.
The CII chief proposed the launch of employment-linked incentive schemes in sectors such as toys, textiles, tourism, logistics, retail, and media & entertainment. “The incentives should be tied to employment generation, with higher incentives for women employees,” he said.
GST meet
The GST Council, chaired by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is set to meet on June 22 after an eight-month hiatus, with high expectations surrounding reviewing the 28 per cent tax on online gaming and broader rate rationalization.
“The council is likely to reach conclusions on matters pertaining to GST that necessitate legislative modifications, including the taxation of online gaming activities,” Saurabh Agarwal, Tax Partner, EY, said.
(Courtesy: TT)

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