Retailers Urge FM To Keep GST Rates Close To Current Rate Of Tax

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Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met a delegation of the Retailers Association of India (RAI) which urged him to keep the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate close to the current effective rate of taxation, according to a RAI statement. “The delegation emphasised the need to transition to GST at rates as close as possible to the current effective rate of tax,” according to the RAI statement.

According to the statement, the delegation included India’s top retailers including Future Group, Shopper’s Stop, Tata Group, Aditya Birla Group and Landmark Group.

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Several aspects of GST were discussed at the meeting and the retailers appreciated the slab-wise approach to implement the new tax regime.

They welcomed the government’s proposal to keep all essential products like food, textiles and apparel at rates ranging from 0-6 per cent under GST, the statement said.

Jaitley said that at least five rate structures were presented at the recently organised third GST Council, adding that the final structure would be decided after discussing and analysing all options.

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However, he said that the council virtually converged on a consensus and a formal decision would be announced at the next meeting on November 4. Also discussed were violations of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy in retail and policies to develop the sector. The delegation emphasised the need to support Indian-managed, Indian-owned retail businesses to access global capital up to 49 per cent without any restrictions.

They also discussed the need to create a unified FDI policy for the retail trade, since channels like e-commerce are just a sub-set of retail, the statement said.   

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