The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council will take up controversial rules like anti-profiteering and e-way bills, among others, in its 17th meeting on Sunday. Additionally, the council is also likely to consider some of the representations made by various industry bodies with regards to rates. The council will also likely approve draft rules related to advance ruling, appeals and revision, and assessment and audit along with GST rate for lottery, the only item without a rate till now.
The e-way bill rule has attracted criticism from various quarters, which have been mainly directed at the apparent cumbersome compliance involved. Many experts have also questioned the ability of the state to get the technological infrastructure in place for implementation of e-way bill rule.
“There are some major concerns relating to the e-way bill: The first is the issue of e-way bills to all kinds of goods, without a distinction between evasion-prone goods and others. The second is the technological requirements for e-way bills to become a reality. We need the government to establish a technological roadmap for the implementation of e-way bills and help the logistics industry understand how to transition to this new medium of operation,” Archit Gupta, founder and CEO of ClearTax, said.
Moreover, the council will likely discuss the contours of the anti-profiteering rule under the GST regime. Although the broad structure of the rule was discussed in a previous meeting, very little has been made public.
As FE had reported earlier, the anti-profiteering rule could provide for businesses found guilty of profiteering to deposit a certain amount in the consumer welfare fund envisaged under GST.
“As far as expectations regarding the anti-profiteering rules are concerned, we still need clarity on how the rules will be levied and the organisations that will have the power to levy them. Also, businesses expect some flexibility in terms of profitability. The GST regime will inflate the cost of compliance which businesses may cover/set-off with excess input credit/reduction in tax rate. All of these doubts need to be clarified,” Gupta added.
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The industry expects that the Council would rationalise some more rates, as well as rules, for various sectors as was done in the previous meeting. The Council had reduced rates for 66 items of the 133 representations it had received from the industry bodies. Tax experts said the case for review of rates was strong for car leasing companies, fertiliser industry and transition stock rule for imported products.