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GST Council begins 2-day meet in Guwahati today

Guwahati: Incentivising payments settled electronically under the Goods and Services Tax and slashing rates on over 160 of the 227 items falling in top slab of 28 per cent GST rate to 18 per cent are some of the major proposals set to come up before the all-powerful GST Council as it begins its two-day meet in Assam's capital Guwahati today.

The two-day meet will see top officers from the state Finance departments get together of Thursday, while Friday will see state Finance ministers attend the meeting that will be chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Ahead of the meeting, Bihar Finance minister Sushil Modi, who is also part of the GST Council, hinted at the likelihood of several items in the top GST rate slab being brought under the 18 per cent tax rate.

'Tax rates on 80 per cent of 227 items falling in top slab is likely to be reduced from 28 per cent to 18 per cent in the next GST council meeting. The GST fitment committee has also recommended reducing tax rates from 18 per cent to 12 per cent on a number of goods,' Sushil Modi said at a function at the Bihar Chamber of Commerce in Patna on Wednesday.

A group of ministers, set up to review the rates, will formally ask the council to consider reducing the taxes on a host of products to 12-18 per cent from 28 per cent.

The GST Council is also set to consider steps to ease the compliance burden for traders and businesses. The ministerial panel has pitched for extending the quarterly filing of returns facility to all taxpayers.

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