‘Govt may bring real es­tate un­der GST’

DNA (Delhi) - - INDI -

The is­sue of bring­ing real es­tate un­der the GST’s am­bit will be dis­cussed next month, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley said to­day, as he ac­knowl­edged that it is the one sec­tor where max­i­mum amount of tax eva­sion and cash gen­er­a­tion takes place.

The mat­ter will be dis­cussed in the next meet­ing of the GST Coun­cil to be held on Novem­ber 9 in Guwa­hati, Jait­ley said while de­liv­er­ing the ‘An­nual Mahin­dra Lec­ture’ on In­dia’s tax re­forms at the pres­ti­gious Har­vard Univer­sity.

“The one sec­tor in In­dia where max­i­mum amount of tax eva­sion and cash gen­er­a­tion takes place and which is still out­side the GST is real es­tate. Some of the states have been press­ing for it. I per­son­ally be­lieve that there is a strong case to bring real es­tate into the GST,” Jait­ley said.

The Goods and Ser­vices Tax (GST) was im­ple­mented from July 1 this year. It brings the econ­omy un­der a uni­form tax regime.

“In the next meet­ing it­self, we are ad­dress­ing one of the prob­lem ar­eas or at least (hav­ing) dis­cus­sion (on) it. Some states want, some do not. There are two views. There­fore, by dis­cus­sion, we would try to reach one view,” he said.

The move would ben­e­fit the con­sumers who will only have to pay one “fi­nal tax” on the whole prod­uct, Jait­ley said. “As a re­sult, the fi­nal tax paid on the whole prod­uct in the GST would al­most be neg­li­gi­ble,” the min­is­ter said.

Jait­ley said the re­duc­tion in even­tual ex­pen­di­ture cou­pled with in­cen­tivis­ing peo­ple to en­ter the tax net may also help re­duce the size of “shadow econ­omy”.

A 12 per cent GST is levied on construction of a com­plex, build­ing, civil struc­ture or in­tended for sale to a buyer, wholly or partly. How­ever, land and other im­mov­able prop­erty have been ex­empted from the GST.

On de­mon­eti­sa­tion, Jait­ley said it was a “fun­da­men­tal re­form” which was nec­es­sary to trans­form In­dia into a more tax-com­pli­ant so­ci­ety.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley

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