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GST Council to continue rationalising rates, says Shukla

08 October 2017

A total of 72 lakh taxpayers have migrated from the old regime and 26 lakh new taxpayers have registered under GST.

The reverse charge mechanism has been deferred till August 31, 2018.

The government has also reduced the GST on products such as unbranded savory snacks, roti and unbranded ayurvedic and homeopathic medicines to 5 percent.

The council also agreed to bring e-Way bill by April 1 to facilitate movement of goods from one check post to another.

Ajay Sahai, head of the Federation of Indian Export Organisation, said before the Jaitley press conference that its 25,000 small and medium-sized members had found the monthly tax drill "exhausting". Exporters have been anxious over the delayed refunds welcomed the changes, as these would help address their liquidity problems.

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The major issues affecting the export sector related to delays in refunds of IGST and input taxes on exports and working capital blockage as exporters have to upfront pay GST on inputs and capital goods for export production or for procuring goods for export.

The GST Council has approved the creation of an e-wallet for each exporter with a notional advance refund amount. The government expects GST to normalise from January, 2018.

The GST Council today raised the composition scheme threshold for businesses to Rs. 1 crore, which will allow them to pay a tax of 1 per cent to 5 per cent, without having to deal with a three-stage filing process. The threshold for composition scheme in GST has been hiked from Rs 75 lakh to Rs 1 crore for businesses to avail of the composition scheme.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday chaired a meeting of the council for the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a landmark reform which turned India's 29 states into a single customs union for the first time.

Citing sources close to the development, a Zee business report stated that the Centre is going to propose GST rate cuts in many items that fall in the highest tax bracket of 28%.

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Also, GST on man-made yarn used in textile sector has been reduced from 18 per cent to 12 per cent. Tax on stationery items, stones used for flooring (other than marble and granite), diesel engine parts and pump parts has been cut to 18 per cent from 28 per centa.

Tax refunds of July and August for exporters to be processed from October 10, says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

For the remainder of the fiscal, they will operate under an exempted category paying a nominal 0.1 per cent GST, he said, adding from April 1 attempt would be made to launch an e-wallet facility for the exporters to provide liquidity. This measure is expected to significantly reduce the compliance cost of small service providers.

However, traders with a turnover of over Rs 1.5 crore will comply with GST norms as before where they will be filing returns monthly. "Even the Chief Economic Advisor to this government had recommended the GST rate of 15 per cent to 15.25 per cent as the revenue neutral rate", he said.

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GST Council to continue rationalising rates, says Shukla