Scope for reducing GST slabs with more revenue, says Arun Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday promised more simplification of the levy with lower number of tax slabs with more revenue buoyancy.
"We are in first 2-3 months (of GST implementation). We have almost by the day, space and scope for improvement. We have space for improvement and need for improvement to reduce compliance burden as far as small taxpayers are concerned," he said.
"We have space for improvement, eventually once we become revenue neutral, to think in terms of bigger reforms such as lesser slabs, but for that we have to become revenue neutral ... ," he said at an event organised here by the National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes and Narcotics (NACIN).
Currently, the GST regime slots items under rates of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. An additional GST compensation cess is also levied on certain products.
Emphasising that indirect tax burden is borne by all sections of the society, the minister said it is always the endeavour of the government to bring down tax rates on mass consumption commodities.
"Direct tax is paid by more by the more affluent, somewhat by the others and certainly not by the weaker section but the impact of indirect tax places burden on all.
"Therefore, an effort is always as part of the fiscal policy ... to ensure that the commodities which are consumed more by the common people are least taxed compared to others," he said.
Noting that India has conventionally been a tax non-compliant society, he said when people have the right to demand development, they also have the responsibility to pay what is required for the development.