Govt ‘not adamant’ on GST rates, can be relooked: Union minister Meghwal

Minister of state for finance Arjun Ram Meghwal.

The Union government is “not adamant” on GST rates and it could be relooked by the GST Council depending on revenue realisation, minister of state for finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said on Friday.

“We have to see the revenue realisation first. Government is not adamant on the rates. We have a federal structure. We have to take the view of the states also in the GST council,” he said.

During his interaction with the business community at the Greater Kochi Economic Forum, organised by ‘Janmabhumi’ daily here, entrepreneurs in the startup business expressed concern over the service tax shifting from 13 to 15 and now 18%.

“You do not worry, the moment we feel that your revenue realisation is better, all other aspects of the rationale to the rate will be taken to GST Council, and will be decided positively in favour of dealers,” he said to a query on whether the government has a vision to bring down the service tax to earlier rates.

Talking to reporters at the sidelines of the function, the minister claimed that 2017 would “definitely be known as the year of reform”.

“We started in January with digital transaction, we advanced the union budget, merged the railway budget in the union budget, we passed Finance Bill by March 31, 2017, we implemented the GST from July 1, we have amended the banking regulation system to address the NPA issue. Definitely this year is an year of economic reform,” Meghwal said.

He described as “a good step” the Reserve Bank’s decision to launch Rs 200 note.

“RBI has taken a decision to introduce Rs 200 notes. I think it is a good step for ease of doing business,” he said, when sought for his comments on it.

The minister said there was no plan to demonetise Rs 2,000 currency.