gstMillions of companies in India are still not ready to file their first returns under the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) ahead of an August 20 deadline, a top official told Reuters, urging them not to leave things to the eleventh hour.

Navin Kumar, chairman of the GST Network, also said barely half of the 34 service providers accredited to help firms bulk-file invoices online had received approval to go live.

Yet he gave an assurance that the huge IT back end that is designed to crunch up to 3 billion invoices a month and calculate companies' taxes would be stable, even if there is a last minute rush to file.

"It will not crash," he told Reuters in an interview. "We are working on the assumption that 50 percent of the people will come on the last day."

Billed as India's biggest-ever tax reform, the GST has replaced a slew of federal and state levies. It has also cleared barriers between India's 29 states, uniting its 1.3 billion people into a common market for the first time.

Yet the complexity of the tax which has main rates of 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent and multiple exceptions has raised concerns that companies will struggle to comply and file their monthly returns on time.

Even before the GST filings kick in, business surveys showed both the services and manufacturing sectors contracting at their fastest rate in years, heralding a likely dip in indirect tax revenues.

The government has allowed firms to file simplified, self-assessed GST returns by Aug. 20 for the month of July, when the tax was launched.

They will have to file complete returns in early September that itemize and reconcile every single sales invoice under a regime that, by comparison with other countries, is labor and data intensive.

More than 7 million existing taxpayers have activated accounts on the GST's portal although around a third have yet to complete the form-filling required to file a full tax return, Kumar said.

Another 1.3 million new firms have registered to pay GST.

He waved away concerns that companies would not be able to cope, saying that those used to paying value-added tax now abolished were used to online filing.

Although companies can upload invoices directly into the GST portal, big businesses will rely on a new breed of the service provider whose applications can format, reconcile and upload invoices in bulk.
Of the first batch of 34 services providers that have been accredited, only 18 have received permission to go live. "I have been urging them to speed up their work," Kumar said.

Posted On Wednesday, 09 August 2017 10:32

goods-trucksWith just a few days left for GST rollout, the Centre is in favor of postponing by a few months the implementation of the e-way bill, which requires movement of goods above Rs. 50,000 to be to pre-registered online.

However, with states unwilling to defer the provision, the GST Council agreed to rope in National Informatics Centre (NIC) to work along with GST-Network to assess if an all India e-way bill system can be created in a short time-frame, an official told PTI.

The GST Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising representatives of all states, had in April come out with the draft e-way bill rules that made it necessary for any movement of goods, within or outside the state, having a value of more than Rs. 50,000 to be registered with the GST-Network (GSTN) website.

According to the draft, GSTN would generate e-way bills that would be valid for 1-15 days, depending on the distance to be traveled - one day for 100 km and 15 days for more than 1,000 km transit. The tax officials can inspect the 'e-way bill' anytime during the transit to check tax evasion.

The industry has, however, expressed concerns over this, saying that the Rs. 50,000 limit was too low and that the timeline for completion of transport operations was "impractical and removed from reality".

They also felt that the e-way bill would be applicable to the movement of all kinds of goods without making any distinction between goods that were evasion prone or not.

The official said that at the June 3 meeting of the GST Council, the Centre contended that GSTN will be busy in the first three months of GST rollout as it has to ensure that technology backbone for the new indirect tax regime is working fine and hence would take about 6 months to build the platform for 'e-way bill'.

The Centre also said that feedback from the industry was yet to be examined by the law committee and hence finalization of rules would take sometime.

Stating that the GSTN can start developing the software only after finalization of rules and forms, the Centre suggested that the "implementation of the 'e-way bill' system could be postponed by a few months," the official said.

However, states such as West Bengal, Kerala, Bihar, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh stated that they already had a robust e-way bill system, which should be continued as reverting to handbills would lead to "considerable loss of revenue".

New source: businesstoday

Posted On Monday, 12 June 2017 12:00

moneyThe wait for an update on allowances is likely to be over soon as the Union Cabinet is expected to decide on the elusive matter the next time it meets on Wednesday. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will table the proposals for the changes in allowance structure as per the 7th Pay Commission. The issue was not included in the agenda for the Cabinet meeting last week.

The Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS) has already submitted its report on allowance reforms to Jaitley. This committee of secretaries was formed to screen the recommendations by the Committee on Allowances led by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa.

E-CoS has taken a hard look at modifications in important allowances like House Rent Allowance (HRA), and payment of arrears against revised allowances. The Cabinet may consider higher HRA rates on basic pay demanded by the central government employees.

Central government employees want the rates to be retained at 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent for Class X, Y and Z cities, even if they are not hiked. The Committee has capped HRA between 2 per cent and 27 per cent. Several reports suggest that the new allowances will be implemented from July.

Around 49 lakh central government employees have been expecting a hike in their paychecks for almost a year now. The government may compensate for this delay with higher HRA rates. Analysts, however, believe that an increase in allowances will fuel inflation owing to private expenditure.

Moreover, according to a Financial Express report, because of the delays in revised allowances distribution, the government has been able to save Rs 2,200 crore per month or Rs 40,000 crore cumulatively since January 1 last year.

The pay commission had recommended the abolition of or subsuming of allowances like acting, assisting cashier, cycle, condiment, flying squad, haircutting, rajbhasha, rajdhani, robe, shoe, shorthand, soap, spectacle, uniform, vigilance, and washing.

The Lavasa Committee was constituted in June last year after the government implemented the recommendations of the Pay Commission.

The Seventh Pay Commission had recommended abolishing 53 of the 196 allowances and subsuming 36 other allowances. It also recommended slashing the House Rent Allowance (HRA) -- for metros, the commission recommended bringing down the HRA from 30 per cent to 24 per cent.

The Seventh Pay Commission had recommended the rate of House Rent Allowance (HRA) be kept at 24 percent, 16 percent and 8 percent of the Basic Pay for Class X, Y and Z cities respectively.

Government employees protested the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission, following which the Narendra Modi-government formed a committee under the Finance Secretary to review the suggestions.

The Committee on Allowances was constituted in July and after an extended deadline was asked to submit its report to the government by February 22, 2017.

If the government implements pay commission recommendations on allowances, then as per estimates, the cost to the exchequer will be Rs 29,300 crores.

New source: businesstoday

Posted On Monday, 12 June 2017 11:47

gold2 In what could be a huge relief for jewellery and diamond processing industry before India's biggest tax reform kicks in from July 1, the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council reduced the applicable rate on making charges from 18 per cent to just 5 per cent.

"The GST Council has received 133 representations. An officers' committee made recommendations after studying these representations. The GST Council has reduced the tax levels in 66 out these 133 cases. The diamond processing and others would attract a levy of five per cent now," Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while addressing a press conference after 16th GST meeting.

Earlier, All India Gem and Jewellery Federation, the India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA), and other trade representatives had pressed for lower taxes on jewellery making charges.

Currently, a tax is exempted on jewellery making charges. Early this month, the GST Council meeting had fixed GST on precious metals and diamonds, including jewellery, at 3 per cent. However, tax on making charges of jewellery was kept at 18 per cent.

Tax on making charges would have in turn raised tax for consumers to over 4 per cent, almost double of what was being currently charged in the form of 1 per cent each on VAT and excise on jewellery.

Among the items on which the GST rates have been reduced by the GST Council include cashew nut, sauces, pickles, insulin, children's coloring and drawing books, cutlery.

GST rates were also revised for computer printers, tractor components. Cinema tickets under Rs 100 would be taxed at 18 percent, while above Rs 100 would be charged at Rs 28 percent.

New source: businesstoday news

Posted On Monday, 12 June 2017 11:04

telangana1Telangana's GSDP  grew at 10.1 per cent (at constant prices) during the last financial year to Rs 5.11 lakh crore as against 9.5 per cent in FY16, state Industries and Commerce Minister K. T. Rama Rao said today.

"Telangana has achieved a 10.1 per cent y-o-y growth in Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), compared to a national average of 7.1 per cent y-o-y growth in 2016-17 and the share of Telangana 's economy in national

GDP  has increased seven basis points in 2016-17," KTR said after releasing the annual report of the industries and commerce department.  

"TS-iPass (Telangana state industrial policy), launched in June 2015, under the guidance of our chief minister, has generated Rs 73,000 crore in investments, and created 2.46 lakh jobs in the process," he said.  

The share of Telangana's contribution to the national GDP was at 4.28 per cent against 4.21 per cent during 2015-16.  

The minister also launched the logo and website for Telangana Industrial Health Clinic Ltd (TIHCL), an industries' initiative for revival and growth of sick manufacturing MSMEs.

The initiative will be supported by the state government, high net-worth individuals, financial institutions and industry stakeholders.    

According to KTR, the proposed pharma city's phase - 1 is being developed across 8,200 acres even as 6,300 acres land is already under the possession of Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Ltd (TSIIC) and acquisition of the remaining land is expected to be completed shortly.  

The state government is planning to create Life Sciences Infrastructure Fund with an initial corpus of Rs 1,000 crore which will be used to set up sophisticated modular plug-and-play specialized infrastructure for pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical devices industry. 

New source: economic times

Posted On Monday, 12 June 2017 10:39
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