With the prices of gold, silver, diamonds and other jewellery articles are set to increase with the incorporation of the new Goods and Services Tax (GST), natives here took to jewellery stores to make their purchases, with shops open post-midnight owing to the rollout of the much-awaited tax regime. Starting today, a three percent tax will be levied on gold and diamond jewellery, as discussed in the 15th meeting of the GST council held last month. Owing to this, shoppers came in large numbers to complete their purchase before the rollout, thus avoiding the surcharge post the GST. Milan Saha, an employee of a jewellery store here said while the prices of gold and diamond jewellery are set to increase, the incorporation of the GST is seen as a boon for traders and the jewellery industry in general. “Manufacturing of jewellery articles happens mainly in Mumbai, Rajkot, Kolkata and Coimbatore. Earlier, we did not get any refund on inter-state taxes. With the GST coming into force, we will be availing these, and therefore, it is good for our industry,” Milan told ANI.
In a historic moment for the Indian economy, the much-awaited tax regime was rolled out in a special midnight session of the Parliament, in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, among other dignitaries. Ending more than 11 years of hectic argument among the Centre and the states, the GST will implement from July 1 to completely transform the indirect taxation landscape in the country involving both the Central and State levies. The biggest tax reform since independence – GST – will pave the way for the realisation of the goal of One Nation – One Tax – One Market. It will benefit all the stakeholders namely industry, government and consumer as it will lower the cost of goods and services give a boost to the economy and make the products and services globally competitive, giving a major boost to ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Under the GST regime, exports will be zero-rated in entirety, unlike the present system where a refund of some of the taxes does not take place due to fragmented nature of indirect taxes between the Centre and the States. However, GST will make India a common market with common tax rates and procedures and remove economic barriers. GST is largely technology driven and will reduce the human interface to a great extent. GST is expected to improve ease of doing business in India.
The GST Council has decided the final structure of GST as follows:
• The threshold limit for exemption from levy of GST is Rs. 20 lakh for the States except for the Special Category, where it is Rs 10 Lakh.
• A four slab tax rate structure of 5 percent, 12 percent, 18 percent and 28 percent have been adopted for GST.
• A cess would be levied on certain goods such as luxury cars, aerated drinks, and pan masala and tobacco products, over and above the GST rate of 28 percent for payment of compensation to the states.
• The threshold for availing the Composition scheme is Rs. 75 lake except for special category States where it is Rs. 50 lakh and they are required to file quarterly returns only. Certain categories of manufacturers, service providers (except restaurants) are out of the Composition Scheme.