Revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia believes that the new goods and services tax (GST) regime has been well-established, and a complete overhaul of the tax rates is now required to reduce the burden on small and medium businesses
In an interview to PTI, Adhia said, "There is a complete overhauling that is required. It is possible that some items in the same chapter are divided. So ideally we should do harmonisation of items chapter wise and wherever we find there is a big burden on small and medium businesses and on common man, we have to bring them down (and) then only there will be a better compliance, a better acceptability of GST."
The revenue secretary, however, said the overhauling would require some calculations by the fitment committee, which will decide which items need a rationalisation of rate under the GST regime.
It's almost four months since the new tax regime was rolled out, which merged various indirect taxes into one. But under GST, both common people and businesses are facing major difficulties and compliance issues.
GST Council—the highest decision-making body of GST implementations has already made several changes. To ease hassles facing medium and small businesses in paying taxes and filing GST returns, it has tweaked various aspects of the new indirect tax regime to make it industry-friendly.
To address growing criticism, earlier this month, the government eased tax rules for small and medium-sized companies. It said small businesses would be allowed to file tax returns once a quarter instead of every month.
"The committee will work on it for a month and then we will try and bring something as early as in Guwahati or later on," Adhia told PTI.
The GST council is scheduled to hold its 23rd meeting in Guwahati on 10 November, the meeting will be chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and will comprise of representatives of all states.
"We are very keen to do it as early as possible, it depends on how much time the fitment committee takes to work on it. They need data, calculate revenue loss. They need various comparisons. But harmonisation has to be done. A complete review has to be done," the revenue secretary said.