New Delhi, June 22 (FN Bureau) The recommendations made by the Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted by the GST Council should not be given go ahead in the forthcoming meeting of the GST Council to be held in Chandigarh on June 28-29 and any changes in tax structure should be made after consultation with the traders, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) demanded on Wednesday. The Delhi-based traders’ body said the recommendation of GOM to bring unbranded food grains under tax slab of 5% will be a regressive step and in this matter, the status quo should be maintained. CAIT also said textiles and footwear should be kept in the tax slab of 5%. ‘Bread, cloth and housing are essential items for the common people and if tax is imposed on these items, it will create a direct financial burden on 130 crore people of the country who have already been badly hit by inflation.
The income of the common man is decreasing while the expenditure is increasing day by day and therefore any new levy of tax will further complicate the situation,’ it said. CAIT National President BC Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said when the figures of GST revenue are increasing every month, there is no justification for imposing more GST on any commodity. They stressed that in the present circumstances, it is necessary that the GST tax laws and rules should be reviewed afresh in totality and the discrepancies and disparities in tax rates should be eliminated. They said it appears that the GoM has been one-sided in recommending abolition of few exemptions on GST for many items and no opportunity was given to traders to express their views before GoM speaks that the committee has taken the side of different states only. Bhartia and Khandelwal said there is a need to remove the complexity of the GST tax system whereas if the recommendations of the committee are followed then this tax system will become more complex.
They said implementation of the recommendations made by the committee would make the tax structure more distorted and abnormal, which would be different from the main objective of the GST tax system. They also said traders across the country are in agreement with the idea of the GST Council to revise the tax rates of GST, but then there is a need for radical changes in all the tax slabs of GST simultaneously. ‘There are a large number of items which are not in the slab of the appropriate tax rate. Some are in higher tax rates and some items have different tax rates in different states which is contrary to the basic principle of one nation one tax of GST. From this point of view, if the tax rates are changed after consulting the traders,it would increase the revenue of the central and state governments, for which the traders organizations across the country will join hands with the central and state governments,’ they added.