The GST Council today exempted artisans and folk artists with an annual turnover of up to Rs 20 lakh from registration under the just introduced Goods and Services Tax (GST). West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra said besides exempting artisans, the 21st meeting of the highest decision making body of the GST exempted clay idols from the tax. Also, no registration would be required for inter-state job works, he said. “For artisans, artists, folk arts and tribal arts, no registration will be required up to Rs 20 lakh (turnover). Clay idols are exempt now,” he said, adding that “job work inter-state, you don’t need any registration now up to Rs 20 lakh turnover.”
On government work contract, the tax rate has been reduced to 12 per cent from 18 per cent. “That will save government a lot of tax.” A committee of ministers has been formed to look into technical issues facing the GST-Network, the IT backbone and portal for registration and tax returns under the GST regime. “GSTN has major problems. We had much discussions and all that has to be settled and a committee of ministers has been formed along with a committee of officers,” he said.
The panels would look into the glitches, he said. “Small and medium enterprises are suffering today, this has to be corrected.” Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu said the deadline for filing of sales return or GSTR-1 for the month of July – the first month of implementation of the new tax regime, has been extended by a month to October 10. Drabu said hike in cess on cars was not discussed.
On the functioning of GSTN, he said it “is a real concern. We have acknowledged that it is a concern. An inter- ministerial group has been formed in-principle. The Chairman (Finance Minister Arun Jaitley) has been authorised to select ministers. A group of ministers will be formed and they will talk to GSTN and private parties.” On revenues accruing to states in the first month of the GST, Drabu said he does not “see a pattern right now in it. This time there will be a lot of backlog. Let it stabilise for one cycle”.
Goa State Panchayat Minister Mouvin Godinho said the 18 per cent interest levied on delayed filing of returns has been waived.