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Showing posts from June 5, 2017

GST rates for gold fixed at 3%, biscuits 18%

India on Saturday finalised some pending rules and finalised the goods and services tax (GST) rates for items such as gold, packaged foods, biscuits, foot wear and solar panels, paving the way for the country’s biggest tax reform from July 1.

The GST Council has tried to keep the tax rates lower for most items as the Narendra Modi government wants to keep a lid on inflation and nurture economic growth that has slipped to 7.1% in 2016-17 from 8% a year ago.

The GST Council will meet on again June 11 to complete all the processes required for smooth roll-out of the new regime that will have four slabs of 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%, with an aim to unify the nation into a single market.

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said the rate for packaged food has been fixed at 5% and biscuits at 18%. Gold will be taxed at 3% as against the current tax incidence of 2-6% varying across states while it will be 0.25% for rough diamonds, said Jaitley after a meeting of the GST Council.

“Gold, which currently…

3% GST on Gold to Hit Unorganised Sector: Industry

The GST Council's decision to impose a 3% GST on gold will not only make jewellery costlier but also lead to a higher incidence of illegal gold trade, industry experts have said.They also said bringing the unorganised gold sector into the GST ambit will be a challenge.

“With GST, the total duty has become very high and the customs duty maybe revisited,“ said Ajay Sahai, director general at Federation of Indian Export Organisations.“The duty could be one of the highest among major gold consuming countries, which could lead to high incidence of smuggling."

India, China and West Asia are the world's leading gold jewellery markets.On Friday, the GST Council also fixed a GST rate of 3% on silver, gold jewellery and processed diamonds, which is higher than the industry estimate.

With an existing 10% import duty, consumers will have to pay an effective duty of 13% on gold jewellery, up from the earlier 12.5%, which comprised 10% import duty, 1% value-added tax, 1% excise duty and …

India, Germany Plan Pact to Help Startups Thrive

Two nations looking to start a startup exchange programme, provide easier market access Indian startups may soon get easier access to the German market and investments thanks to an agreement the government is planning to sign with the country for a startup exchange programme.

Commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman, during her recent visit to Germany alongside Prime Minister Narendra Modi, discussed with the country's economic affairs minister Brigitte Zypries opportunities for collaboration to share knowledge and best practices in the startup ecosystem.

“There are synergies between India's and Germany's startup ecosystems since both countries have a similar set of sectors investing in new ventures,“ a senior government official said.

A formal agreement between the two countries is being worked upon and is likely to be signed soon, the official said on condition of anonymity. The agreement will be signed between Startup India and the German Startups Association, wh…

Textile Exporters' Bodies Welcome Fixing of GST Rates

Major textile industry bodies on Sunday welcomed the decision of fixing reasonable GST rates and thanked finance minister Arun Jaitley. A Sakthivel, regional chairman, Federation of Indian Exporters' Organisation, southern region, said lower GST rates across products that have high export potential will go a long way in promoting Make in India.

The Economic Times New Delhi, 05th June 2017

No IGST on Imports Under Export Promotion Schemes

Different Facets GST Council provides no exemption for a number of telecom and IT products that do not face countervailing duty now

Keen to give a leg-up to exports, the Goods and Services Tax Council has provided outright exemption to imports under various export promotion schemes, including special economic zones, from Integrated GST.

However, no exemption has been provided for a number of telecom and IT products that do not face countervailing duty now. Exemption for these products under GST regime was sought by Apple.

A number of IT and telecom products do not face any basic customs duty as India has committed to exempt these items under the Global Information Technology Agreement. India went a step further and removed countervailing duty, levied in lieu of central excise duty, to encourage telecom manufacturing in the country.

Apple was keen on extension of CVD exemption under the GST regime. “Exemption from IGST on im ports by SEZ units and developers for authorised operations will…

Unfinished agenda to keep GST Council busy till roll-out

With just over three weeks left for the roll-out of the goods and services tax (GST) from July 1, issues related to electronic way (e-way) bill, anti-profiteering guidance and area-based exemption rules, among others, are yet to be addressed.

Though the return filing rules have been simplified, experts argue that such changes just ahead of the GST roll-out will only complicate the IT preparedness of the industry and the GST Network (GSTN).The revised return rules have done away with the need to mention invoices along with the product code.

Now, only the harmonised system of nomenclature (HSN) code of product needs to be mentioned by the seller. In addition, there will be no need to issue an advance invoice if the final supply is made within the same month.

“While we are appreciative of the simplified revised rules for returns, the industry and the GSTN will need to make changes in the software with just 25 days left for the implementation.

The government should avoid making any more chan…