Member of GST Council & Deputy Chief Minister, Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi on Friday outright ruled out inclusion of Petroleum products into GST ambit in near future, citing loss of revenues both to Centre and States if such a decision is effected in hurry and that the GST Council has no consensus on this issue as yet.
However, Modi did assure India Inc. that GST Council could positively consider bringing in natural gas and ATF within the purview of GST for which he did not prescribe a definite timeframe.
Addressing a National Conclave on "GST - Growing Stronger Together" under aegis of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here today, Modi made it amply clear that the GST slab of 28 percent for certain products could be brought down once the revenues for GST collection stabilize at about Rs. One Lakh Crore per month or so.
"Similarly, a three slab GST could also be possible at any rate between 12 percent and that of 18 percent once the monthly revenue collections move towards stability which will take time," clarified Modi.
Elaborating on the issue of petroleum products getting into GST ambit, the Member GST Council further explained that even if petroleum products are brought under GST ambit, there is no guarantee that such products would attract a GST tax slab within 28 percent only as States would put on additional taxes on them for want of more revenues as petroleum products have been a large source of revenues not only for Centre but also for States.
Therefore, India would have to be patient and should wait for inclusion of petroleum products well within the GST enclosure adding that GST Council could consider bringing in natural gas and ATF under GST but even for that India Inc would have to show a moderate patience for this, indicated Modi.
Referring to the issue of bringing down 28 percent GST slab for certain products of mass consumption, Modi clarified saying that GST Council would love to do that but due to revenue constraints, it would take some more time and the Council would be decisive on this issue once the GST collections stabilize at about Rs. one lakh crore per month.
Modi further added that GST Council would put the new GST return format on public domain so that corrections in it could be made through public consultations though it would be very simple for larger public application.
In his welcome remarks, President, PHD Chamber, Anil Khaitan observed that with advancing GST, it would mature to the best of satisfaction of all stakeholders and appealed to his fellow businessmen to provide genuine estimate to the government when trade and industry file their monthly returns.
Vice President, PHD Chamber, D K Aggarwal in his remarks observed that even with initial hitches and hiccups in GST implementation in its earlier phase, the indirect tax collections have not only grown considerably but even compliance was increased and as the tax system advances, further improvements would come to notice for trade and industry including public.
Chairman, Indirect Taxes Committee, PHD Chamber, Bimal Jain appealed to the GST Council that whenever it is proposing any amendment to GST laws and procedures and host of other related issues, the trade and industry should be taken into consultation front so that glitches are removed at the beginning in itself.
Among others who were present on the occasion comprised CEO, GSTN, Prakash Kumar, Member (Budget), Dr. John Joseph and Co-Chairman, Indirect Taxes Committee, PHD Chamber, N K Gupta and its Director, Abhi Narayan Mishra.