GST Council Meet Ends, Rates on Many Consumer Items Slashed

GST likely for Netflix and iflix soon
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07 October, 2017

The decision was taken during the 22nd GST Council meeting, which was chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi.

Jaitley conceded that there had been blockage in credit of exporters which was affecting their cash liquidity.

In a relief to exporters, the Minister said returns for the month of July and August would be refunded through cheques from October 10 and October 18 respectively. Under the proposed facility, the government would immediately transfer the tax credit claims by way of notional amount in the e-wallets. However, post GST, IGST blocked their working capital.

The refund they get will receive eventually, would become an offset through e-wallet.

For the remainder of the fiscal, merchant exporters will operate under an exempted category after paying a nominal 0.1 per cent tax on purchase from manufacturers.

GST Council also allowed SMEs with turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore to file quarterly returns instead of monthly filings.

The good and services tax (GST), which came into effect on July 1, was created to replace more than a dozen state and national levies and transform India's $2 trillion economy into a single market for the first time. This, together with the composition scheme, will cover most assessees.

The council responded favourably to the the call by small businesses to lower the compliance burden by allowing them to file returns only once in a quarter instead of once every month as is required at present.

This scheme is optional under the manufactures other than those of ice creams, pan masala and tobacco products have to pay a 2 percent tax on their annual turnover.The tax rate would be 5 percent for restaurant and 1 percent for traders.

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For example - if someone has a grocery shop, he gives 5 per cent on branded items, but those who sell open atta (wheat), there is zero tax on that.

'Compliances are something that have really hit the small traders very, very hard, ' Anita Rastogi, partner at consulting firm PwC told AFP.

The GST Council on Friday introduced a slew of reforms amid the festive season to woo traders and consumers.

"We need a modern, comprehensive and progressive taxation system to tax revenue from the digital economy", Subromaniam said yesterday. GST Council may also approve suspension of reverse charge till March 31.

The officials further clarified, "The GST ranging from 5% to 12% is leviable on branded and packed food items, vegetables and fruits, while no GST is chargeable on unbranded and unpacked food items".

Rates on Plastic waste were reduced from 18 to 5 percent.

Tax on stationery items, stones used for flooring (other than marble and granite), diesel engine parts and pump parts has been cut to 18 per cent from 28 per cent. GST on e-waste has been slashed to 5 per cent from 28 per cent.

Printing job work will now be taxed at 5%. These collections will not be the complete picture as these two months were early transitional phase.


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