New Delhi: Days after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council in its 31st meeting cut rates on 23 items, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said that India will have GST slabs of 0 per cent, 5 per cent and a standard rate between 12-18 per cent for commonly-used items.

“Of the 1,216 commodities which are used, broadly 183 are taxed at zero rate, 308 at 5 per cent, 178 at 12 per cent and 517 at 18 per cent. The 28 per cent slab is now a dying slab”, he said, in a Facebook post titled –‘Eighteen Months of GST’

Outlining the impact of the Goods and Sevices Tax, Jaitley said,”With the GST transformation completed, we are close to completing the first set of rates of rationalisation i.E. Phasing out the 28 per cent slab except in luxury and sin goods.”

Furthermore he stated that a future road map could be to work towards a single standard rate instead of two standard rates of 12 per cent and 18 per cent. “It could be a rate at some mid-point between the two. Obviously, this will take some reasonable time when the tax will rise significantly. The country should eventually have a GST which will have only slabs of zero, 5 per cent and standard rate with luxury and sin goods as an exception,”he added.

Stating that only cement and auto parts are items of common use which remain in 28 per cent slab, Jaitley said the next priority will be to transfer cement into a lower slab. “All other building materials have already been transferred from 28 per cent to 18 per cent and 12 per cent. The sun is setting on the 28 per cent slab”, he added.

“The assesses had only two options,  either to pay a high rate of tax or evade it,” he said, adding tax evasion was prevalent to a large extent. India comprised of multiple markets.”

The Finance Minister also launched an indirect attack on Opposition saying,”Those who oppressed India with a 31 per cent indirect tax and consistently belittled the GST must seriously introspect. Irresponsible politics and irresponsible economics is only a race to the bottom.”

Read his complete blog here: