Kochi: The union government is “not adamant" on goods and services tax (GST) rates and they could be re-looked by the GST council depending on revenue realization, minister of state for finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said on Friday.

“We have to see the revenue realization first. Government is not adamant on the rates. We have a federal structure. We have to take the view of the states also in the GST council," he said. During his interaction with the business community at the Greater Kochi Economic Forum, organized by the Janmabhumi daily, entrepreneurs in the start-up business expressed concerns over the service tax shifting from 13 to 15 and now 18%.

“You do not worry, the moment we feel that your revenue realization is better, all other aspects of the rationale to the rate will be taken to GST council, and will be decided positively in favour of dealers," he said to a query on whether the government has a vision to bring down the service tax to earlier rates. Talking to reporters at the sidelines of the function, the minister claimed that 2017 would “definitely be known as the year of reform".

“We started in January with digital transaction, we advanced the union budget, merged the railway budget in the union budget, we passed finance bill by March 31, 2017, we implemented the GST from July 1, we have amended the banking regulation system to address the NPA issue. Definitely this year is an year of economic reform," Meghwal said.

He described as “a good step" the Reserve Bank of India’s decision to launch the Rs200 note. “RBI has taken a decision to introduce Rs200 notes. I think it is a good step for ease of doing business," he said, when sought for his comments on it. The minister said there was no plan to demonetise the Rs2,000 currency.