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GST rate could be in slabs to minimize state losses: Meghwal

The Goods & Services Tax (GST) Council will today kick-start its three-day meeting to contemplate on the crucial revenue neutral rate (RNR). Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Arjun Meghwal, Minister of State for Finance said that decision of RNR will be based on a consensus. In an earlier meeting, the council had set the threshold limit at Rs 20 lakh. Meghwal said that the GST rates could be in slabs to ensure minimum losses to states. "Some items may be zero GST and some items may be taxed up to 4-6 percent and the maximum item will be on the standard rate," he said. Below is the transcript of Arjun Meghwal’s interview to Yash Jain on CNBC-TV18. Q: How are the issues before the GST Council going to be solved? A: All the issues pending before the goods and services tax (GST) council will be decided by the common consensus. We have evolved a formula and you have seen that in the threshold limit we have reached in a common consensus formula and decided 20 lakh threshold limit. Whatever the issues before the GST, you can say standard rate, you can slab, you can say the agitation of the sales tax officer in the state, whatever the formula, we will adopt, but we will adopt on the basis of the common consensus. And I am very hopeful that the state will co operate with us and whatever the decision we take, we will take the decision in the interest of the nation. Q: Also, taking the point of GST rates forward, there are certain commodities on which the indirect taxes are high, certain commodities where it is lower comparatively. What would be the mechanism that the centre would really go for in terms of deciding the GST rates? A: We are working on the formula of the revenue neutral rate (RNR). Whatever the finance is available with the state or centre, we do not want that any state will lose, so we will work on the formula of RNR. For that particular purpose, we can make out a slab system in GST also. Some items may be zero GST and some items may be the tax up to 4-6 percent and the maximum item will be on the standard rate.

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