CII Calls for Simplified GST Structure with Three Rates Ahead of GST Council Meeting

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New Delhi: In anticipation of the upcoming 53rd Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting scheduled for June 22, the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) has advocated for a streamlined GST framework featuring three distinct tax rates and a moderation of the existing rates.

Sanjiv Puri, the newly appointed President of CII, expressed these views in his first interview with ANI, emphasizing the need for GST reform. Currently, GST encompasses a range of five tax slabs: 0%, 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%. Essential goods, such as food items, are taxed at 0%, while everyday consumer items fall under the 5% slab. Standard rates of 12% to 18% apply to most goods and services, with the highest rate of 28% reserved for luxury items, tobacco, aerated drinks, and other demerit goods.

Puri also highlighted the importance of bringing petroleum products, electricity, and real estate within the GST ambit, aligning with recent statements by Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri regarding efforts to include petrol, diesel, and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) under GST.

Furthermore, Puri proposed the creation of interstate institutional platforms akin to the GST Council to tackle next-generation reforms in state and concurrent domains, stressing the necessity for consensus-building among stakeholders. He underscored the importance of interventions in sectors like land, power, and logistics to reduce the cost of doing business, recommending reductions in stamp duty on land transfers and phasing out cross-subsidization in the power sector.

Looking ahead to the Union Budget, Puri suggested establishing a Green Fund to address climate challenges, emphasizing the need for substantial resources to support decarbonization efforts.

Additionally, Puri outlined a comprehensive 14-point agenda aimed at driving economic transformation, advocating for increased capital expenditure and focusing on human capital development to foster inclusive growth and enhance industry competitiveness.

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