GST Council meet: Reacting to the GST Council meeting today, PM Narendra Modi said that the recommendations made will immensely help small and medium businesses (SMEs). PM added, “GST is in line with our constant endeavour to ensure interests of our citizens are safeguarded and India’s economy grows.” Three months after the rollout of the new indirect tax regime, the GST Council today made sweeping changes to give relief to small and medium businesses on filing and payment of taxes, eased rules for exporters and cut tax rates on more than two dozen items. Businesses with an annual turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore, which constitute 90 percent of the taxpayer base but pay only 5-6 percent of total tax, have been allowed to file quarterly income returns and pay tax instead of the current provision of monthly filings, as per PTI report. Also, the turnover threshold for businesses to avail of the composition scheme that allows them to pay 1-5 percent tax without going through tedious formalities, was raised to Rs 1 crore from current Rs 75 lakh.
“GST Council has considered the implementation experience of the last 3 months and gave relief to small traders. Compliance burden of medium and small taxpayers in GST has been reduced,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after the 22nd meeting of the Council. Small and medium enterprises had complained of tedious compliance burden under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that was intended to be a simple indirect tax regime which replaced over a dozen Central and state taxes. Jaitley said the Council also decided to cut GST rates on 27 common use items, added PTI report.
GST on unbranded namkeen, unbranded ayurvedic medicine, sliced dried mango and khakra has been cut to 5 percent from 12 percent while the same on man-made yarn used in textile sector has been reduced from 18 percent to 12 percent. Tax on stationery items, stones used for flooring (other than marble and granite), diesel engine parts and pump parts have been cut to 18 percent from 28 percent. GST on e-waste has been slashed to 5 percent from 28 percent. Food packets given to school kids under ICDS will attract 5 per cent tax instead of 12 per cent. Job works like zari, imitation, food items and printing items would attract 5 per cent tax instead of 12 per cent, as per PTI report.
Government contracts involving a high amount of labour will be levied 5 per cent GST instead of 12 percent in order to contain the cost of those programmes, he said. Also, salwar suit in a three-piece set has been classified as fabric and 5 percent GST would be levied on it. For the remainder of the fiscal, merchant exporters will operate under an exempted category after paying a nominal 0.1
percent tax on purchase from manufacturers, as per PTI report.