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Course correction on GST
The reconciliatory stance of the GST council and attempt to simplify tax regime will help in better revenue collection
ActIT Jammu, Projects, Java,, C# Training Jammu
The GST Council empowered to oversee implementation of the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime has struck a reconciliatory stance and approved several alterations for filing and depositing of tax by the people all across the country. This has been keeping in view the hardships being faced by the people in electronic filing of returns on monthly basis and depositing the tax due to inadequacy of infra-structure required for the purpose. Majority of the traders and industrialists have been problems as the server system of the GST has been stuck up due to overload of the IT infra-structure during the past few months. In fact, during the first 100 days after the India's tryst with the new GST regime, the concerned people have not been able to file their returns well in time despite the fact that the deadline was extended up to the middle of this month. After the alterations have been made, the people have heaved a sigh of relief when the e-billing of all the traders and industrialists has been postponed to March 2018 so that the IT infra-structure could be upgraded and put in place to remove difficulties faced by them. The hardships relate to coverage and compliance norms with a view to easing the burden of paperwork and stretched cash flows imposed on smaller businesses and exporters. The GST Council lowered the rates on 27 items, including dried sliced mango, khakhra, unbranded salted eatables and, more importantly, yarn and sewing threads to soothe the textile industry that has been in distress over GST norms and is a catalyst for job-creation. The prime minister Narendra Modi has said the GST Council's decisions at its 22nd meeting, taken at his behest to overcome the GST system's apparent shortcomings, are similar to an early Dewali. That the meeting was advanced by almost 20 days, and that it has tried to deliver on the NDA-government's promise to fix the problems faced by traders in the first quarter of GST is welcome. The decision to switch the requirement to file quartly returns and an annual return to a quarterly frequency for firms with a turnover of Rs 1.5 crore will ease the burden of compliances on small and medium enterprises, and reduce the workload on the tax regime's fledgling IT backbone.

All these factors are important for the reason that post-demonetisation and implementation of the GST regime have been contributing to jobless growth in the country's economy. The exporters who are facing problems have also cut down on jobs due to rising cost of manufacturing after GST regime came into force. They have been asking for simplification and early refund as their capital will be held up for months together for no fault of theirs. Equally critical is the expansion and proposed simplification of the composition scheme, under which firms with an annual turnover of up to Rs One crore pay a flat and low tax, and the six-month suspension of the reverse charge mechanism that required large firms to deduct tax on supplies from firms outside the GST net. This should instill fresh confidence among small firms and help expand the tax base. The promise of faster tax refunds, starting Tuesday, for exporters facing a working capital crunch too is re-assuring at this critical juncture. Only time will tell how smoothly these decisions are implemented on the ground, but suspension for six months of the payment of integrated GST (IGST) on inputs used for exports will bring immediate relief. While putting off the e-way bill provisions dealing with movement of goods that were making businesses and transporters nervous, the GST Council is instead considering a staggered introduction. So the system would begin with one or more states from January 2018 and cover the entire country by April 2018. But somehow, it is not clear how this will impact inter-state movement of goods in the interim three months, and industry has good reason to worry about fresh complications under the new regime. Amidst this flurry of adjustments, suspense persists on the operationalisation of the GST law's anti-profiteering provisions, which cramp pricing decisions by business houses. The NDA-government needs to move swiftly to bring clarity on all such remaining grey areas. Last but not the least, though some of the latest rate revisions may be based on impeccable economic rationale, it is important to resist giving the impression that some tweaks, even if they are warranted, are based on the Assembly election schedules in some of the states of the country. In fact, the concessions on GST filing of returns have to provide some relief to the traders and industrialists for facilitating the business.

News Updated at : Friday, October 13, 2017
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