SKP Group
8 December 2015
Exemption list to be pruned for GST
The Centre's excise duty exemption list of around 300 items will be reduced to the states' Value Added Tax (VAT) list of close to 90. Tea, coffee, biscuits and some medicines, currently exempted from excise duty, may come under the proposed GST as the Finance Ministry and Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers draw up a common list of exempted items.

Source: Business Standard dated 8 December 2015 

CEA-led panel recommends standard GST rate of 17-18%
A panel led by Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian submitted its report to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that outlines the scope of the ambitious tax that aims to create a national market. However, the key revenue neutral rate suggested by the CEA panel stood at 15-15.5%. The standard rate for GST stood at 17-18%, the rate at which most products would likely be taxed. 

Source: Moneycontrol dated 7 December 2015

Narendra Modi government to push for passage of GST this week
The Business Advisory Committee of the Rajya Sabha has allotted four hours for the consideration and passage of the GST Bill. With the government resolving to give a decisive push to the GST Bill in the Parliament this week, the winter session could witness a battle of wits in the Rajya Sabha with both sides keen to have their say on this key reform.

Source: Business Today dated 7 December 2015

CEA Arvind Subramanian defends GST rates, quells fears on 'sin' tax
Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian defended a three-rate structure for GST, including a demerit or 'sin' tax of 40% on products like tobacco and luxury cars, saying the recommendation is based on the current tax structure. The panel headed by Subramanian had recommended a three-rate GST structure of 12-17/18-40%, the last category being for luxury cars. 
Source: The Economic Times dated 7 December 2015

Petroleum products to be under GST if states agree: Minister
The government wants inclusion of petroleum products under the proposed GST but a decision on this would be taken only if state governments were agreeable, a union minister told parliament. “In principle, petroleum products should come under the GST ambit, but a final decision will be taken when state governments come on board,” Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in a reply during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha.

Source: The Hindu dated 7 December 2015

CEA panel for removing tax on inter-state trade
A panel headed by Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian has recommended that the 1% tax proposed to be levied on GST on the inter-state trade of goods to help manufacturing states, be done away with. This is one of the major demands of the Congress and the recommendation could help the government break the GST gridlock in the Parliament.

Source: Business Standard dated 5 December 2015

Did you know?
Currently, there are 161 countries in the world that have implemented a common tax system for goods and services, Malaysia being the latest. Europe ranks number 1 to have the highest number of countries (53) to have adopted GST.
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