Sales Tax Rates Slashed as India Faces Deepening Growth Slowdown

The GST Council today hiked the threshold limit of the composition scheme to Rs 1 crore, from Rs 75 lakh, Press Trust of India reported citing sources.

Speaking in Patna yesterday, he suggested that tax payers with a turnover of up to 1 crore 50 lakh rupees may be permitted to file their returns on a tri-monthly basis. Businesses with a turnover of up to 15 million rupees can file quarterly returns, Jaitley announced.

On the Council's agenda at today's meeting is a relook at procedures for businesses and discussions on changes that need to be brought about based upon the learnings of the government and the feedback it has received in the three months since GST launch.

The GST council said as the exporters' credit is blocked due to which liquidity is impacted, although the data is available electronically and this refund process of electronic will take time through the cross empowerment. The e-wallet system is expected to rollout from April 1, 2018, he added. Good and Simple Tax (GST) becomes even simpler.

The Council has made a decision to reduce the rates on several items, including sliced dried mangos, khakhra and plain chappatis, unbranded namkeen, unbranded ayurvedic medicines, plastic, rubber and paper waste, yarn, diesel engine parts, pump parts, e-waste, and several services.

However, as far as the composition scheme is concerned, service providers can not opt for it, other than restaurant related services; manufacturer of ice cream, pan masala, or tobacco; casual taxable person or a non- resident taxable person; and businesses which supply goods through an e-commerce operator.

The English daily also reported that the Customs Department had previously proposed to include foreign companies that engage in online businesses with Malaysians customers to the GST Act as Malaysians are not required to pay GST when they purchase items from e-commerce sites. Group of Ministers under Sushil Modi will set up to look into GSTN glitches are likely to brief the Council on the portal's functioning. For exports till March 31, the previous GST exemptions such as advance authorisation, EPCG will continue. The government is mulling to reduce tax slabs and tax rates to ease businesses. Jaitley has promised steps to boost economic growth back above 7 per cent and towards the levels economists say India requires to generate employment for the one million entering the workforce every month.