NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India will cut rates on some products and services under the new Goods and Services Tax (GST), the finance minister said on Thursday, in a bid to encourage greater compliance as revenues have dipped since the landmark reform was announced in July.
The Goods and Service Tax Council comprising federal and state finance ministers, agreed to lower tax rates on 29 goods and 53 services from Jan. 25, Arun Jaitley said after the meeting.
Businesses have raised concerns about high rates of taxation and cumbersome processes in GST, billed as India’s biggest tax reform in 70 years.
Asia’s third-largest economy faces the risk of missing its fiscal deficit target in the current fiscal year as lower revenue collection from slowing economic growth and teething troubles with value-added tax launched in July hit the economy.
The goods on which GST will be lowered include biofuel- run buses, used motor vehicles and diamonds and precious stones.
Tax on sales of liquefied petroleum gas by private firms for domestic use has been reduced to 5 percent from 18 percent.
In the services segment, India will cut taxes on transportation of crude, gasoil, gasoline, jet fuel and services relating to mining, exploration and drilling of oil and natural gas, among other things.
Jaitley also said the council would consider including petroleum products under GST in the next meeting, but did not give details.
The South Asian nation’s tax collection plunged after GST was implemented in July, which hit the economy and complicated tax filings for business.
The country’s tax indirect tax collections have been falling since the launch of GST, reducing to 808.08 billion rupees ($12.66 billion) in November from 940.63 billion in July.
To curb tax evasion, the government plans to roll out online monitoring of inter-state transport of goods beyond 50,000 rupees from next month.
($1 = 63.8525 Indian rupees)
Additional Reporting by Manoj Kumar and Nigam Prusty; Editing by Catherine Evans