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GST Council decisions provide relief to SME sector: India Inc

Decision to bring down rate for AC restaurants to 12% and reduction of tax slabs for around 60 items to 5% from 12% will help boost household spending and further economic

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

GST. Illustration: Ajay Mohanty
GST. Illustration: Ajay Mohanty

Inc on Friday welcomed the outcome of the Council meet and said the decisions will improve compliance and provide much-needed relief to the taxpayers.

Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said that the SME sector compliance will greatly improve as limit for composition scheme has been increased to Rs 1 crore. Now for SMEs with annual turnover of Rs 1.5 crore will be allowed to file quarterly returns, this will be a big relief to the small-scale players.

Banerjee further commented that deferment of Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM) is welcome as it encourages registered taxpayers to continue sourcing from small and unregistered taxpayers.

The decision to bring down rate for AC restaurants to 12 per cent and reduction of slabs for around 60 items to 5 per cent from 12 per cent will help boost household spending and further economic growth, he said.

Banerjee also stated that raising of turnover for composition scheme from Rs 75 Lakh to Rs 1 crore and deferment of E-way bill provisions till April 2018 are indeed a big relief which will help trade and industry in getting adjusted to the compliances.

Regarding the e-wallet scheme for exporters and move to reimburse them within the next week, said this was a much needed step and would help exporters save costs of working capital.

Exporters body FIEO's President Ganesh Kumar Gupta said that these initiatives will address the problem of the exporters particularly micro and small segments.

"The refund of for the month of July by 10th October and August by 18th October will address the liquidity concerns of the exporters," he said.

Gupta also welcomed the decision to introduce e-wallet, mooted by FIEO, at the introduction of the which will provide a permanent solution to the liquidity problem of the export sector.

These are very pragmatic decisions which show the flexible approach of the government which will ameliorate the problem of export sector and will impart much needed competitiveness to exports, Gupta said.

The 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 rates on more than two dozen items.

Businesses with annual turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore, which constitute 90 per cent of the taxpayer base but pay only 5-6 per cent of total tax, have been allowed to file quarterly income returns and pay instead of the current provision of monthly filings.

Also, the turnover threshold for businesses to avail of the composition scheme that allows them to pay 1-5 per cent without going through tedious formalities, was raised to Rs 1 crore from current Rs 75 lakh.

Small and medium enterprises had complained of tedious compliance burden under the Goods and Services (GST) that was supposed to be a simple indirect regime which replaced over a dozen Central and state taxes.

The Council also decided to cut rate on 27 common use items. on unbranded namkeen, unbranded ayurvedic medicine, sliced dried mango and khakra has been cut to 5 per cent from 12 per cent, while the same on man-made yarn used in textile sector has been reduced to 12 per cent from 18 per cent.

Exporters, who have been facing sluggish growth due to global slowdown, will get refunds for the paid by them on exports during July and August by October 18, he said.

For the remainder of the fiscal, they will operate under an exempted category paying a nominal 0.1 per cent GST, he said, adding from April 1 attempt would be made to launch an e-wallet facility for the exporters to provide liquidity.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, October 06 2017. 23:04 IST
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