ASSOCHAM demands postponement of GST rollout

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy

New Delhi:In a breather to tax assessees apprehensive about the burden of compliance under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, the GST Council chose to relax the deadline for filing of returns for the first two months following GST's rollout.

Regarding the industry's demand of deferring the implementation of the tax regime, the minister said that they do not have the luxury of time for the same. Companies will have to file sale invoice for August with the GST Network by September 20 instead of September 10 earlier.

In this connection, the Finance Minister said that the Council has allowed businesses a relaxation of time for the first two months (July-August) for filing their returns. The Council also raised the ceiling on room rent for AC hotels in the 28 per cent tax bracket from Rs5,000 to Rs7,500. The GST Council, that brings together the central and state governments, has met 17 times to thrash out how the tax will work.

"The Council approved draft rules relating to advance rulings, appeals and revision, assessment, anti-profiteering and fund settlement". The "state of readiness of IT network was discussed at length", Jaitley said, adding that 81.1% of existing taxpayers have enrolled on GSTN.

The GST Council will consider on June 30 the state's other demands including a tax for ayurveda medicines on a par with modern medicines, an increase in taxes for cosmetics and a decrease in tax for bamboo products.

Organised retailers do not expect GST GST to impact their sales despite general fears that it could disrupt businesses, and hope to be fully ready for the uniform tax regime in the next few weeks.

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Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said the Centre was ready, but it was companies that wanted time to plug in. "An additional imposition of GST of 12% on land values is another drawback which will affect the growth of the industry, especially in cases where land value is relatively high", said Jaxay Shah, president, CREDAI. The central government has 24.5% equity in the GSTN, whereas state governments, two Union territories and empowered committee of state finance ministers together hold another 24.5% stake in it.

The GST will require firms to file three online returns each month.

Another set of rules dealing with the contentious E-way bill was discussed at length but could not be finalised because of divergent opinions among states.

Virginia tobacco auctions remained suspended for the third consecutive day on Saturday as farmers and traders kept away from the market demanding that the GST Council roll back the tax proposed on tobacco leaves and unmanufactured tobacco, at its meeting on Sunday.

"States which have an e-way bill structure in place can continue with it".

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