GST Updates (20 Dec 2016)

Delhi govt starts registration of city traders under GST

The Delhi government has launched a process for enrollment under Goods and Services Tax regime on December 16, 2016. The Deputy Chief Minister, Delhi, Manish Sisodia, has formally initiated the procedure that would continue till December 31. There are currently around 3.48 lakh traders registered with the Trade and Taxes Department of Delhi who are eligible to get themselves registered under GST regime.

He said that “GST is currently in initial stage and it is our responsibility to properly shape it. Traders should come forward and tell us about their queries and concerns relating to GST so that I could raise them in the GST council”. He also demanded that the word- ‘dealers’ which exists in the current tax law should be replaced with ‘partners’ in the GST regime. His contention was that the traders collect tax from the people and give it to the State Government and, hence, they are ‘partners’ in collecting tax.

Government may call special session of the Parliament for GST-related bills

The controversy of the Parliament on demonetisation has put several important legislations including GST on hold. The last meet of winter session of the Parliament has ended with worst results. The Government is now considering for calling a special short session of the Parliament to discuss Central GST and Integrated GST Bills.
According to a report the government may call a meeting of the Cabinet committee of Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) to discuss ways of getting these important bills passed in the Parliament.

CEA wants real estate, electricity charges to be part of GST

In an event at ASSOCHAM, Chief Economic Advisor, Arvind Subramanian said that the “GST constitutional amendment bill is the ‘mother of all achievements’. We should aspire for simple, clean rates that are lower rather than higher. This will help in fight against black money.”
He said that the Sale of land and real estate need to be part of the GST. That way the input tax credits can enter in the system. The Stamp duty can be kept separate. He further pointed that we need to bring electricity charges of this sector as part of GST.

Malaysia to share GST experience anti-terror module with India, says Najib

Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, recently said that “Malaysia is more than ready to share its experience with India on the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and anti-terrorism measures”. He said that the information on GST was shared with a high-level delegation from India that visited Malaysia recently. Despite facing different challenges in terms of GST, he said both the countries shared a mutual resolve to provide a transparent and predictable tax regime.

‘Food processing sector may attract existing rates under GST’

Special Secretary, Food Processing Ministry GOI, recently said that the Food processing industry is unlikely to have any adverse impact in terms of taxation under the proposed GST regime as the sector will continue to be taxed at existing rates. The existing excise duty rate on food processing is six percent and is most likely to be maintained under GST. The official also said that the government would take more initiatives to make this sector more vibrant and put it on global map.

Exempt healthcare services by private hospitals from GST: IMA

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has urged the government to exempt healthcare services offered by the private hospitals under the Goods and services Tax (GST). It stated that the exemption of GST to private sector would result in several benefits which include no increase in cost of healthcare being provided by the private sector, affordable healthcare services in India, eradication of any possibility of dis-incentivising future investments in the sector, etc.
At present, healthcare services provided by all types of clinical establishments are exempted from service tax under the mega-exemption notification, issued in June 2012, which are strictly defined to cover diagnosis, treatment and care for illness, injury or deformity

GST Rollout: If Not in April 2017, When?

The Centre’s aim of rolling out the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from April 1, 2017 has just got tougher. With the all-powerful GST Council yet to arrive at a consensus on any of the three GST laws namely, the Central GST Bill, the State GST Bill and the Integrated GST Bill. The government has missed the chance of getting the Parliament’s approval in the winter session.
The Council is also yet to decide on the list of items which would fall under the tax slabs of 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent. Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley had said that essential commodities, which include 50 percent of the goods in the current consumer price index basket will be taxed at zero percent under the GST.
Individual State legislatures will also have to ratify these bills before the new tax regime can be rolled out, making it only more difficult for the Centre to implement GST from the start of the next financial year.
Citing constitutional compulsion, Jaitley had sought to drive home the point that GST has to be rolled out before September 16 next year as the existing indirect taxes will come to an end by then and it would not be possible to run the country without revenue collection. All existing indirect tax laws of the Centre and the States will be void a year after the Constitution amendment for GST was notified in the official gazette.

Migration of traders to GST sluggish

The migration of traders and merchants registered under various State and Central tax regimes to the GST seems slow. The Pondicherry being the first State in the country to launch the Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN) has enrolled about 3000 traders only. According to K. Sridhar, Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, as many as 15,000 traders in the Union Territory are currently registered with VAT and other tax regimes such as Central Excise. Of them, about 3,000 have enrolled themselves with the GST.

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