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GST: Govt panel for removing tax on inter-state trade

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New Delhi: To achieve a middle path on the long due Goods & Services Tax (GST) bill, a government panel headed by Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian suggested the one per cent additional origin tax for manufacturing states recommended to be levied on the GST, specifically on the inter-state trade of goods to help manufacturing states. This is one of the foremost demands of the Congress and the suggestion might help the BJP-led NDA Government to crack this gridlock in Parliament.

In a report submitted to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday by the authorised committee recommended changes on the main GST rate to be in the range of 16.9-18.9 percent. The rates endorsed a revenue-neutral rate (RNR) of 15-15.5 percent, with an average rate of 17-18 per cent, should be levied on majority goods and services.

The average rate will be implemented on majority goods and services in the new indirect tax regime. These tariffs were deliberate after eliminating real estate, electricity, alcohol and petroleum products.

The demands put forth by Congress’ comprise 18% GST rate to be legislative and doing away with 1% additional origin tax for manufacturing states- Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. They had also demanded an independent dispute resolving body for GST.

“The idea of not putting rate caps (of 18% as suggested by Congress) in the Constitution is pragmatic, considering the dynamic business environment which may demand future changes in the GST rate. Recommendation towards wider coverage of sectors (including petroleum) within GST is much desirable in the interest of a cleaner indirect tax regime,” said Rajeev Dimri, leader, indirect tax, BMR & Associates LLP, to a newspaper.

The Constitution Amendment Bill, prevalently recognized as the GST bill, is pending approval in the Rajya Sabha due lack of the majority of the leading government. The government is nonetheless working towards negotiating and finalizing the work by March 31 next year to enable GST’s roll out from April 1, 2016.

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Filing GST Returns Too Taxing

It has made it mandatory for tax payers to file the income tax return by 31st of July. In case of the delay, the fine of Rs. 5000/- per file is being imposed

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GST
GST is one of the strongest step taken in the direction of Digital Technology.

By Salil Gewali

No doubt the NDA government in the center brought about remarkable changes in the market and the fiscal policy. One of those includes GST with a strong backup of the digital technology. No one would disagree that this will contribute immensely to the nation building and boosting its economy. Many world economists are lauding the India’s move in this direction. Well, for all such dramatic changes our techno-savvy PM Modi’s relentless dedication and innovation is highly praiseworthy.

But, however, there are “murmurs of dissatisfaction” among the middle-class traders these days. The displeasure expressed by the business community is all about the government’s rigid diktat for the GST filing. The administration is apparently putting the hard squeeze on the middle and upper middle class traders and entrepreneurs to file GST “before 20th of each month”. In case of a delay, the penalty of Rs 50/- per day is slapped which is a huge disappointment. How on earth does the government expect each trader to have the computer knowledge? Most of the small traders have not yet touched the desktop. So, they all rush to the nearby tax professionals to do the job. Just imagine how a few tax experts in the town match up to the countless GST payers. Can ten thousands sick patients be treated by one single doctor in a short span of time? This is totally impractical.

GST
The displeasure expressed by the business community is all about the government’s rigid diktat for the GST filing.

Each tax expert has to file the return for the minimum 300 to 800 clients per month and that number is increasing by leaps and bounds. The traders are required to keep the detail account of all sales and purchases throughout the month for which they have to bear a good deal of incidental expenditures. Many erroneous entries are usually made in the filing of GST, but once the file submitted that can’t be revised. Usually, the last two days of the GST filing is a nightmare. Because the site is clogged due to heavy traffic. Does the government want the small traders being harassed and bugged out thus? Mere imposing the hard regulations will never yield the positive result.

There is another shocker of this government. It has made it mandatory for tax payers to file the income tax return by 31st of July. In case of the delay, the fine of Rs. 5000/- per file is being imposed. This is indeed a cruel imposition that might just bruise the confidence of obedient tax payers. Given the literacy rate and very poor “professionalism” in India, such hard decrees by the government only make the citizens more annoyed than happy. Here I intensely doubt if it is the BJP government that wishes so much hardship upon the public. Is it not trusting 1.25 billion Indians, as touted by our astute PM Modi, who all have been standing for him through thick and thin? I think the finance ministry immediately needs some overhauling for the interest of the general public.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali.

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