Bring GST under three-rate structure with moderation of rates: CII President Sanjiv Puri

Ahead of the 53rd Meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) council on June 22, the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) has urged for a GST structure with three rates and moderation of the current rates.


ANI | Updated: 16-06-2024 13:03 IST | Created: 16-06-2024 13:03 IST
Bring GST under three-rate structure with moderation of rates: CII President Sanjiv Puri
Sanjiv Puri, President, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) (Photo-ANI). Image Credit: ANI
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By Shailesh Yadav Ahead of the 53rd Meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) council on June 22, the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) has urged for a GST structure with three rates and moderation of the current rates.

The 53rd GST Council meeting is scheduled to be held on June 22, 2024, in New Delhi. In his first interview after taking over as President of CII, Sanjiv Puri told ANI that the Council should streamline GST into a three-rate structure with moderated rates. Currently, the GST rate list comprises five slabs: 0 per cent, 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent, and 28 per cent. Essential items, including food, are kept at a 0 per cent or nil rate. Common use or mass consumption items are in the 5 per cent slab, 12 per cent to 18 per cent are standard rates, and 28 per cent is for luxury products, tobacco, aerated drinks, and other demerit items.

Puri also emphasized that petroleum products, electricity, and real estate should be brought under GST. Earlier on Tuesday, while taking charge as the new Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri stated that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) would work on bringing petrol, diesel, and ATF under GST. Asked about imposing GST on these fuels, Puri said, "We will try. The Minister of State (Suresh Gopi) and I will both work on it."

The CII President also noted that many next-generation reforms lie in the state and concurrent domains and require tough consensus-building to move forward. He suggested that inter-state institutional platforms, similar to GST Councils, be created. Further interventions in land, power, and logistics are necessary to reduce the cost of doing business. For land, states must be encouraged to bring down stamp duty on land transfers to 3-5 per cent. To reduce power costs, cross-subsidization of power by industry and other user segments should be phased out.

For the upcoming Union Budget, Sanjiv Puri suggested creating a Green Fund to address the challenges of extreme weather. "Decarbonization for climate transition requires substantial resources. In developed economies, much less has been done than what was committed. A Green Fund should be created in India to make resources available," he said.

Advising opposition parties as CII Chief, Sanjiv Puri stated, "The results of the government's policies are visible in economic growth. Everyone should be energized to progress in this direction. This is India's moment. This is an opportunity for India. Therefore, everyone should support it. Instead of opposing the government on every issue, the opposition should support the government on economic growth." He also outlined a 14-point agenda for the new government to drive the next phase of economic transformation. He emphasized the need for continued capital expenditure-led growth along with fiscal consolidation.

He proposed that part of the windfall dividend of Rs 2.1 lakh crore from the RBI could be used to increase capital expenditure by 25 per cent in FY25 from the revised estimate of Rs 9.5 lakh crore for FY24. Building India's human capital should be a priority for inclusive growth and industry competitiveness. The government should set roadmaps to raise public health expenditure to 3 per cent of GDP and education to 6 per cent of GDP by 2030, focusing on skill development initiatives. Sanjiv Puri said that India, being one of the youngest countries globally, must focus on quality employment and livelihood generation at scale to meet the aspirations of the youth, stimulate demand in the economy, and ensure inclusive growth. Employment Linked Incentive (ELI) schemes with appropriate outcome indicators can be launched for labor-intensive sectors with high growth potential, such as toys, textiles and apparels, wood-based industries, tourism, and logistics. The ELI scheme could also address the low female participation rate by providing higher incentives for hiring female labor.

Additionally, an International Mobility Authority should be set up to track employment opportunities in other countries and facilitate Indian youth to benefit from these opportunities, the CII President said. Finally, the government should focus on strengthening the Ease of Doing Business to enhance the competitiveness of Indian industry and its ability to expand its global footprint. Priority should be given to further easing the regulatory and compliance burden through simplification, rationalization, and decriminalization of regulatory approvals and compliances, time-bound clearances using the National Single Window System, strengthening alternate dispute redressal systems, and adopting self-declaration/third-party certification and deemed approvals, wherever feasible, he added. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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