Still Unwieldy but Just in Time - Learn Vocabulary

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has managed to break the stalemate with States at the Goods and Services Tax Council’s fourth round of deliberations over the contentious issue of tax rates for the new tax regime. He did this by retaining the standard rates of 12 per cent and 18 per cent proposed at the Council’s last meeting, but tweaking the highest and lowest tax slabs from 26 per cent to 28 per cent and 6 per cent to 5 per cent, respectively. Concerns of States that levy Value Added Tax at 5 per cent on items of mass consumption were met by lowering the threshold GST rate. Food-grains and other items considered essential, that together constitute roughly half the consumer price inflation index, have been exempted from GST. 
Since inflation is a tax on the poor and indirect taxes are regressive, this would help check worries about inflationary repercussions. But raising the highest tax slab to 28 per cent to balance the fiscal books is a surprise, especially since it would be levied on items such as consumer durable's and cars that are now taxed at 30-31 per cent. Even if producers do pass on this rate differential to customers, this is hardly likely to spur the kind of consumption that could drive more manufacturing investment, create jobs and bolster economic growth.

The cess on top of GST to be levied on luxury and sin goods is neither desirable nor efficient. Unless its levy is restricted to end-use products at the point of sale, it would further distort the efficiency gains from GST as input credit for cess paid on intermediary goods is unlikely. The government has argued that the cess will help compensate States for five years and that the Council can take a call on doing away with it thereafter. Similar visibility should be provided on dovetailing the multiple tax rates into two or three in the coming years, if not the international norm of a single GST rate
Multiple rates will not just pose an administrative challenge but also spur ugly corporate lobbying of the kind that the Finance Minister wanted to nix by phasing out exemptions in direct taxes. Days before he became Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman, Arvind Panagariya had flagged the cost of focusing too much on one reform, which spills over into other reforms being delayed. That the recently constituted GST Council has covered much ground with unanimous consensus augurs well for the GST deadline, including refining the model GST law and ensuring industry and the tax department are ready to make the GST switch by April 1, 2017. But the proposed rate structure is still too complicated to meet the objective of radically simplifying tax compliance.

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Source - The Hindu

1. Stalemate (noun) (गतिरोध) – a position counting as a draw, in which a player is not in check but cannot move except into check
  • Synonyms – delay, pause
  • Antonyms – advance, progress
Ex: While playing chess we reached a stage of stalemate.

2. Deliberations (noun) (विचार-विमर्श)– long and careful consideration or discussion
  • Synonyms – conference, calculation
  • Antonyms – disregard, ignorance
Ex: After only one hour of deliberation, the jury came back with a guilty verdict.

3. Contentious (adjective) (विवादास्पद)– causing or likely to cause an argument, controversial
  • Synonyms – combative, petulant
  • Antonyms – agreeable
Ex: The author wrote a contentious novel which caused a great deal of unrest.

4. Tweaking (verb) (मरोड़ना)– twist or pull (something) sharply
  • Synonyms – tease, pull
Ex: He tweaked the boy’s ear.

5. Bolster (noun) (सिलेंडर)
– a long, thick pillow that is placed under other pillows for support
  • Synonyms – boost, maintain
  • Antonyms – decrease, discourage
Ex: Free tickets were given away to bolster attendance at the game.

6. Levied (verb) (लगाया)– impose (a tax, fee, or fine)
  • Synonyms – collect, charge
  • Antonyms – displace, remove
Ex: A tax of two per cent was levied on all cargoes.

7. Distort (verb) (बिगाड़ना) – pull or twist out of shape
  • Synonyms – deceive, decline
  • Antonyms – preserve, improve
Ex: He helps us distort the truth of the.

8. Dovetailing (verb) (ब्योरा) – join together by means of a dovetail
  • Synonyms – conform, accord
  • Antonyms – clash, differ
Ex: The ends of the logs were cut and dovetailed.

9. Unanimous (adjective) (एकमत) – (of two or more people) fully in agreement
  • Synonyms – consistent, concurrent
  • Antonyms – divided, split
Ex: The doctors were unanimous in their diagnoses.

10. Augurs (verb) (शुभ संकेत) – (of an event or circumstance) portend a good or bad outcome
  • Synonyms – herald, forecaster
Ex: The end of the cold war seemed to augur well.

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