undergroundnewsroom.com February 24, 2018

GST Council decisions provide relief to SME sector: India Inc

08 October 2017, 01:04 | Gordon Grant

Relief for small traders expected after today's GST Council meet

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GST tax payers upto 1.5 crore rupees turnover can now file their return on quarterly basis, in place of monthly basis.

Coming out with this information, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who attended the 22nd meeting of the GST Council in New Delhi on Friday, as chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told "The Navhind Times" that he has also suggested to the council that GST on the mining sector should be such that it should not create problems for the smaller traders and dealers involved in this sector. "The 28 per cent GST slab would fall according to the genuine and legitimate aspirations of the people in general and industry, in particular", the minister said.

Of daily use items, GST on zari work, unbranded ayurveda medicine, dried mango, e-waste, plastic and rubber waste has been reduced to five per cent. Tax on stationery items, diesel engine parts, pump parts, flooring stones other than marble and granite has been reduced to 18 per cent. GST has been abolished on import of a number of goods, including rigs for oil and gas exploration and medicines supplied free by global agencies and bona fide gifts up to Rs5,000. For manufacturers, the rate is 2 per cent and 5 per cent for suppliers of food or drinks (without alcohol). The scheme can be availed only by those businesses that operate within state and do not have inter-state sales.

"We are not in a denial mode that there is a problem in the SME (small and medium enterprises) sector", said a senior lawmaker who has been working with Modi's office to combat the economic slowdown. So the threshold has been now increased.

# Composition scheme has been relaxed, threshold now at Rs 1 cr from Rs 75 lakh. It also lowered GST rates for 27 items. About 95 percent of the revenue is collected only from large assessees, he said.

"The refund of GST for the month of July by 10th October and August by 18th October will address the liquidity concerns of the exporters", he said. The government will deposit a notional amount in the e-wallets in advance and refund will be adjusted against that amount later.

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

The Council chose to form a group of finance ministers (GOM) to discuss issues including, allowing inter-state traders under composition scheme, reducing GST on restaurants and exempting zero rated goods in calculation of turnover. A GoM has been set up to decide on turnover calculation mechanism and its report is due in two weeks.

The E-way bill, which allows for the seamless movement of goods worth over Rs. 50,000, is likely to be implemented April 1, 2018. "These small and medium taxpayers account for almost 90 per cent of GST return filers, but may pay marginal or zero tax", Jaitley said. GST Council has considered the implementation experience of the last three months and given relief to small traders... CII's Banerjee said the deferment of the reverse charge mechanism (RCM) is welcome as it encourages registered taxpayers to continue sourcing from small and unregistered taxpayers.

Jaitley said a number of representations had been received and the council had chose to give relief to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and exporters.

Presently, anyone making inter-state taxable supplies, except inter-state job workers, is compulsorily required to register, irrespective of turnover. Service providers, having revenues less than 20 lakh, have been included under the GST exempt list.

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