The Finance Ministry has formed two ministerial panels which will look into items which are exempted from the purview of Goods and Services Tax (GST) as well as suggest any possible changes in tax slabs and their possible merger, apart from looking at information technology (IT) tools to ensure prevention of tax evasion.
Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai will head a panel of ministers which will suggest rationalisation of tax slabs while Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar will be the convenor of the other ministerial group which will look into tax evasion issues as well as ensuring ways to make the tax payment interface more user-friendly for taxpayers.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had ordered the formation of the two groups during the meeting of the GST Council, which was held on September 17 in Lucknow.
The panel headed by Mr Bommai has been given two months' deadline to suggest rationalisation of tax rates and also merger of different tax slabs.
As of now, there are five different tax slabs under GST, these are zero, 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent and 28 per cent.
The seven-member group headed by Karnataka chief minister consists of West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra and Kerala finance minister K N Balagopal, while the remaining members are GST council representatives of other states.
The second group headed by Mr Pawar consists of deputy chief ministers of Delhi and Haryana namely Manish Sisodia and Dushyant Chautala respectively, while other members include Tamil Nadu finance minister P Thiagarajan among others.