GST Council meet today; revamp of GST expected

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A GST Council meet is planned for today, the main agenda of which will be to rework on certain aspects of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that was implemented on 1 July 2017. The Council will be addressing the concerns of traders, small-scale industries, and exporters.

The agenda includes measures to increase the threshold of the composition scheme, implement lower compliance and liberal exemption limits, and boost exports.

A GST Council meet will be held today in which some aspects of GST will be reworked on. Agenda includes change in composition scheme threshold among others.

The meeting may include discussions on raising the threshold for the composition scheme to Rs.1.5 crore from the current Rs.75 lakh. This is expected to assist micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) greatly. The composition scheme ensures that an assessee pays a fixed minimal rate of tax to avoid paperwork related to GST.

Although the industry is demanding for a raise in the threshold to Rs.1.5 crore, the GST Council will consider the revenue losses that states will suffer in the long run and the concerns of the finance ministry before coming to a decision.

The Council could also extend the facility for quarterly filing of tax to small businesses with annual turnover of up to Rs.1.5 crore.

Another agenda item is the implementation of an “e-wallet” facility that will allow exporters to get a tax credit instantly on self-declaration following exports. Currently, there are several exporters with crores worth of tax refunds stuck in the system, leading to acute shortage of working capital. Currently, the government has allowed exporters to do business without the payment of integrated GST on procuring a letter of undertaking.

The proposed “e-wallet” facility is a mechanism for quicker refunds. In addition to this, measures to release past refunds will be taken up.

The GST Council will also consider adding only taxable commodities in the exemption limit of Rs.20 lakh. Currently, there is no such restriction.

The procedure for filing returns could be simplified further as part of the overall revamp process. This will make it a lot easier to do business, which is one of the key objectives of GST implementation.

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