A meeting of the panel of state finance ministers looking into GST rate rationalisation has been deferred, sources said.

Press Trust of India | New Delhi 

November 27, 2021

A meeting of the panel of state finance ministers looking into GST rate rationalisation has been deferred, sources said.

The Group of Ministers (GoM) on rate rationalisation, headed by Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, also includes West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, Kerala Finance Minister K N Balagopal, and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad.

It has met twice so far and was scheduled to meet on November 27 to consider recommendations of the Fitment committee regarding GST rate and slab changes. Sources said the meeting has been deferred and the GoM would submit its report to the GST Council, chaired by the union finance minister and comprising state counterparts. The Council, which meets once every quarter, is slated to meet next month.

Sources had earlier said the Fitment committee, comprising tax officers from states and the Centre, has made many "sweeping" recommendations regarding slab and rate changes and taking items out of the exemption list. All the recommendations might not be accepted in toto, the sources added.

Over its last two meetings, the GoM has reviewed items under an inverted duty structure to help minimise refund payout. Currently, GST has a four-tier slab structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. Essential items are either exempted or taxed at the lowest slab, while luxury and demerit items attract the highest tax rate. On the top of the highest slab, a cess is levied on luxury and demerit goods.

There have been demands for merging the 12 and 18 per cent slab, as also taking out certain items from the exempt category to balance the impact of slab rationalisation on revenue.

With regard to inverted duty structure, the GST Council has already corrected the rate anomaly in the case of mobile handsets, footwear and textiles. (Source: