GST rates should be close to current rate of tax, say retailers
New Delhi, Oct 20 (IANS) The Retailers Association of India met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley here on Thursday to emphasise that the GST rate should be close to the current effective rate of taxation.
“The delegation emphasised the need to transition to Goods and Services Tax (GST) at rates as close as possible to current effective rate of tax,” the association said in a statement.
The delegation included the top retailers of the country, including Future Group, Shoppers Stop, Tata Group, Aditya Birla Group and Landmark Group.
The retailers also discussed several aspects of GST and appreciated the slab-wise approach to implement the new tax regime.
“In particular, the retailers 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.
“At least five rate structure options were presented,” Jaitley had said about the third GST Council meet that concluded on Wednesday, adding that the final structure will be decided after discussing and analysing all of them.
The GST Council meeting had discussed the issue relating to different rates of tax, but could not reach any formal consensus.
However, Jaitley had said that the council virtually converged on a consensus and the technical issues will be sorted out and a formal decision will be announced at the next meeting on November 3-4.
The association also discussed violations of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy in retail and discussed policies to develop the sector.
Indian retailers till now have invested over Rs 40,000 crore generating 400,000 jobs with annual sales exceeding Rs 100,000 crore. 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 ‘Retail Trade’ as channels like e-commerce are just a sub-set of retail,” it said.