GST Council decisions provide relief to SME sector: India Inc

08 October, 2017, 01:06 | Author: Martin Tyler

GST rate on food items downRates on food items such as khakra, dried sliced mango, food packets under Integrated Child Development Services, unbranded namkeen, and unbranded Ayurvedic medicine have been lowered to 5 per cent, as have rates of waste paper, plastic and rubber e-waste.

"Small ones should remain in the tax net for the expansion of the base, but we have significantly reduced their compliance burden", he said.

The steps announced Friday underscored New Delhi's efforts to simplify the system, which has come under criticism from investors and businesses for its complexity, numerous tax rates and complicated return-filing procedures.

To address this problem, the GST Council in its meeting chose to start the refund process for July by October 10.

Exporters will now get refunds from one authority only and have been exempted from furnishing bond and bank guarantee when they clear goods, the press release said. A food trader for instance, may be selling unbranded food pro ducts such as flour and daal along with packed and branded items, which face GST.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said he had told the GST Council to review the problems being faced by traders, and that the government was willing to make changes.

Stationary items, flooring stones other than marble and granites, parts of diesel engine and pumps will now attract 18 per cent GST against the present rate of 28 per cent, Jaitley added.

"Composition scheme has been made more attractive and other facilitation measures will make the GST even more people-friendly and effective", PM Modi added.

The Centre has promised that all glitches around goods and services tax (GST) implementation would get sorted out over the next nine months and a win-win situation would emerge for all stakeholders.

Jaitley said traders, manufacturers and restaurants would now pay 1 per cent, 2 per cent and 5 per cent respectively under composition scheme.

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Facing severe criticism over the implementation of GST, the government on Friday announced a slew of measures to ease the concerns of traders, exporters and small business while slashing the rates on 27 items of common consumption, including roti, khakra, namkeens, stationery, man-made yarn - with a lot of them brought to five per cent category.

Moreover, exporters will continue to get the pre-GST exemptions under the Advance Authorisation and EPCG schemes while importing goods for the objective of exports.

Service providers can not opt for the composition scheme. A group of State finance ministers will also be set up to look into the taxation structure of restaurants and what should be done as they have not reduced prices despite input tax credit. Similarly, the reverse charge mechanism for transactions between registered and unregistered businesses has been deferred till March 31, 2018.

It allows small taxpayers to pay GST at a fixed rate of turnover and not go through the tedious GST formalities.

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