The GST Council will examine the concerns of trade and industry regarding the rates and the rollout of Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be implemented from July 1, Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said on Sunday. “If any trade or business organization feels there’s any anomaly in the calculation of rate of tax or fitment formula under GST, they can send their representations. The government is open (to look at it) if the amendments is in the interest of country, trade and traders. But it is the GST council which is to make a final decision on it,” Meghwal, Minister of State for Finance, told reporters at Chandigarh. He said he will collect the feedback of the trade and industry on GST by June 14 and then submit a report to the BJP national president Amit Shah.
To a query on suggestions/feedback received from trade and industry, Meghwal said the common concern among representations was related to SSI sector coming under GST net.
“There was one thing common among representations given by the trade and industry. For example, marble industry in Rajasthan stated that only 5-10 per cent units were paying excise duty at present while 90 per cent units were out of excise net because of SSI exemption available up to the turnover of Rs 1.50 crore. There is an exemption on the payment of excise duty to the SSI sector. It is the biggest issue. The government will certainly examine it,” he asserted.
The minister said the trade and business with turnover of up to Rs 20 lakh will be exempted from GST.
Apart from this, there will be a composition scheme for businesses with turnover of up to Rs 50 lakh. “Under this scheme, one per cent from traders, two per cent from manufacturers and 5 per cent from restaurants will be charged,” he said.
Meghwal said the government has received suggestions from several trade bodies for increasing the turnover limit under the composition scheme.
The GST Council on Sunday increased the turnover limit to Rs 75 lakh, as against Rs 50 lakh that it decided earlier.
The minister said that the textile sector in Surat and Rajasthan has also expressed concern over imposing 5 per cent tax on textile items. “We are examining it,” he said.
Hailing the GST as the country’s biggest economic reform after Independence, Meghwal it will subsume indirect taxes and implemented from July this year. “I feel there is already an atmosphere in the country for the implementation of GST,” he said.
To a query on compensation, he said a provision has been made in the GST Act for compensating revenue loss to the states which will be paid from the corpus created from cess collections.
On different slabs as compared to other countries which have already implemented GST, the minister said they were proposed because of the diversity in culture and several types of businesses in states.
“But GST will continuously be examined,” he said.
He dismissed charges of “financial dictatorship” saying the GST Council was the best example of cooperative federalism.
“All decisions in the GST Council were taken unanimously. No decision was imposed,” he said.
Meghwal further said, “Some states are saying they will not pass the GST bill. But they will have to do it otherwise how businesses in Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir be run. If they have any apprehension regarding GST, the GST Council can address them.”
The minister said the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, the Institute of Company Secretaries of India and Institute of Cost & Works Accountants of India have been asked to hold seminars in different parts of the states to address the issues of industry and trade in connection with GST.
To a query on farm debt waiver, the minister it is up to the states to decide and the Centre has no role to play.