GST rejig:Tax rate on 178 daily items reduced to 18% from 28%
In the biggest GST rejig yet, tax rates on over 200 items, ranging from chewing gum to chocolates, to beauty products, wigs and wrist watches, were today cut to provide relief to consumers and businesses amid economic slowdown. As many as 178 items of daily use were shifted from the top tax bracket of 28 per cent to 18 per cent, while a uniform 5 per cent tax was prescribed for all restaurants, both air- conditioned and non-AC, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after the GST Council meeting here. Currently, 12 per cent GST on food bill is levied in non-AC restaurants and 18 per cent in air-conditioned ones. All these got input tax credit, a facility to set off tax paid on inputs with final tax.
Won’t allow imposition of Gabbar Singh Tax on India: Rahul Gandhi
Keeping up his attack on the government over the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today said his party will not allow imposition of the “Gabbar Singh Tax” and asked the Centre to do some course correction shedding “arrogance”. Taking to Twitter, he also said that the government cannot break the back of small and medium size enterprises in the country, crush the informal sector and destroy millions of jobs.
Gandhi’s remarks come in the wake of the GST Council meeting held in Guwahati where it was decided that tax rate on a wide range of mass use items would be reduced. “We will not allow BJP to impose a Gabbar Singh Tax on India. They cannot break the back of the small and medium businesses, crush the informal sector and destroy millions of jobs. #GSTCouncilMeet,” Gandhi tweeted.
Post-GST good news: Aditya Birla Fashion cuts clothes prices 8 pct in Pantaloons
Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail (ABFRL) has trimmed prices of its apparel range at Pantaloons Retail by 7-8% as the company passed on the benefits of the goods and services tax (GST) to customers and sharpened its focus on value fashion. The company has consciously been focusing on value fashion and bringing down product prices in the Pantaloons stores for the last one year. With taxes lowering post roll-out of the GST from July 1, the company passed on the lower tax of 5% from the earlier 7% on products costing below Rs 1,000 to customers to boost demand. Supply chain efficiencies following GST implementation have provided more opportunities to companies to reduce prices. “As we continue to focus on value fashion, we have brought down our prices by 7-8% in the July-September quarter post implementation of the GST,” said Ashish Dikshit, business head, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, at a post earnings conference call.
GST impact on companies: India Inc almost fully recovered from shock; all you want to know in brief
Industry has almost fully recovered from the GST shock and has grown by 2% for two months consecutively, according to a BCG-CII survey of CXOs across sectors. The western and northern regions led the revitalisation, with growth rates of 9% and 8%, respectively. South and east followed at the same rate of 5%. Most industries recovered entirely from the GST-hit experienced in June: Auto components (11.7%), building materials (9.4%), consumer durables (15.5%), engineering products (3.9%), fluid power (13%), material handling equipment (9.3%), and metals and mining (21%). The sole industry which saw de-growth was welding (-2.5%), which witnessed a net -9% as compared to August. In line with the market’s overall increasing trend, new order inflows (reflective of future growth) grew by 4.7% and 5.8% in August and September, respectively.
Roadmap to boost economic growth: From skilling to jobs, here is what EAC suggested to PM Narendra Modi
The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) on Friday spelt out a clear roadmap for stepping up skill development, job creation as well as investments in health, education and infrastructure to boost economic growth. In the second meeting of the newly formed body, it made recommendations to guide the evolving framework for the Fifteenth Finance Commission, including the incentivisation of states for achieving health, education and social inclusion outcomes, according to an official statement. The council is also evolving the design of a new Economy Tracking Monitor, linking economic growth indicators with social indicators for last mile connectivity.
Delhi air pollution: Cracker ban, odd-even easy, but no action taken to fix stubble burning, garbage disposal and more
If Delhi’s air is far more poisonous than it was on Diwali, it is because cracker bans of the type imposed by the Supreme Court last month, the odd-even that Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal wants to start from Monday, or the Supreme Court ban on 2,000cc+ diesel engines two years ago, are nothing but knee-jerk responses to a problem the government—the Centre and the ones in Punjab, Haryana and UP—refuses to do anything about. Certainly the cracker-ban helped reduce the pollution for a few days, and odd-even would look effective if the wind speeds picked up enough to disburse the pollutants—to that extent, opposition to them looks churlish, but they are more about optics than anything else. While vehicles contribute 9% to Delhi’s PM10 problem, four-wheelers account for 10% of this, two-wheelers 33% and trucks 46%—but two-wheelers are outside the odd-even ban. And despite it being an obvious polluter, why wasn’t the Badarpur power plant in the capital shut down years ago?