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CBEC chief tells firms, restaurants to lower prices

CBEC chief tells firms, restaurants to lower prices Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Chariman Vanaja Sarna has written to 100 major companies including ColgatePalmolive, Dabur, Nestle, and Hindustan Unilever, and 15 restaurants including McDonald´s, Café Coffee Day, and MTR, to pass on the benefit of reduction in goods and services tax (GST) rates to consumers. The move comes amid instances of companies and restaurants persisting with high rates, raising profiteering concerns.In a letter to company heads and associations, Sarna asked them to go for a commensurate reduction in the prices of products and give it wide publicity.“While it is a legal requirement, you will agree that for all citizens this is an important social responsibility. It would be most helpful if the reduced prices are also given wide publicity,” the letter reads.The letter was sent a week after the GST Council went for a massive trimming of items in the 28 per cent bracket, besides reducing rates on items in…

CBEC Chief Missive to FMCGs Pass on Benefits Post GST Tweak

CBEC Chief  Missive to FMCGs Pass on Benefits Post GST Tweak Letters sent to over 100 companies; move follows warning by finance secretary Hasmukh Adhia Keeping up the pressure on the consumer goods sector, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) chairman has written to the biggest companies to ensure that cuts in the goods and services tax (GST) are passed on to customers. The GST Council has cut rates on 178 products including chocolates, detergent, toothpaste, shampoo, air freshener and shaving cream to 18% from 28% and the government is keen that this translate into lower prices for buyers. “We have reached out to over 100 companies,” CBEC chairman Vanaja Sarna told ET. “This is essentially an appeal asking them to pass on the tax cuts to consumers.” India’s biggest fast-moving consumer goods companies include Hindustan Unilever, ITC, Nestle, Dabur, Godrej Consumer Products, Amul, Perfetti Van Melle, L’Oréal and Mondelez. A top executive at a large diversified consumer products…

12 and 18 percent GST Slabs may be Merged and 28 percent for Demerit Goods Says CEA

12 and 18 percent GST Slabs may be Merged and 28 percent for Demerit Goods Says CEA Land, realty and natural gas could soon come under GST; tax mop-up in line with expectations

The government may combine the 12% and 18% slabs for goods and services tax (GST) into one in the near future and reserve the 28% rate only for demerit goods, said chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian.While India will never move to a single GST rate, over time there would be a “poor man’s” rate (0% and 5%), a “core” rate (the 12%- 18% combination), and the demerit rate (28%), Subramanian said during the course of a 90-minute interaction at the ET office.

Cement and white goods are not demerit goods, but the government was deliberately “going slow” on those items due to revenue considerations.The chief economic adviser, who had last year proposed a revenue neutral rate of 15.5%, said GST collections were not doing badly and the government would take a call on the overall fiscal situation in a few weeks.

“I thin…

NSE cautions brokers and investors against unsolicited messages

NSE cautions brokers and investors against unsolicited messages Leading stock exchange NSE has cautioned traders and investors against unsolicited messages being circulated by unregistered entities to induce investment and sale of shares.Earlier, BSE had also issued similar message to investors. The direction comes after the bourses and capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) noticed that "unsolicited messages are being sent to induce investment or sale of the stock of certain listed companies, indicating target prices by unregistered or unauthorised entities". "Trading members are requested to advise their clients to remain cautious on such unsolicited messages being circulated by unregistered or unauthorised entities," National Stock Exchange (NSE) said in a noticeThe exchange also said that in case the trading member "suspects that there is an unusual trading pattern" by any client then it should release the payout only aft…

No Monopoly Govt will Ensure Digital Inclusion

No Monopoly Govt will Ensure Digital Inclusion The government will not allow any monopoly over the internet to exist in India even though it upholds freedom of speech, electronics and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.“India believes in freedom (of speech). But I can tell you that any kind of abuse of the platform for extraneous and collateral purposes will not be allowed,” the minister said in an interview to ET, addressing concerns over how social media may have been used to influence the US election results and how India plans to deal with similar situations. There are “laws in place” to deal with situations like that and the government is in favour of “digital inclusion” but not in favour of “digital monopoly”, Prasad said. “You may recall the whole concept of Free Basics by Facebook — you get through only when you go through my gateway — we had taken a very strong position on that,” said Prasad, who is also minister for law and justice. Two years ago, the telecom regulator banned…

HC judges, experts brainstorm on GST litigations

HC judges, experts brainstorm on GST litigations With the goods and services tax(GST) in place, 20 judges from 12 high courts brain stormed with experts and top government officials on identifying grey areas in the new regime that may throw up litigations in coming days. Top domain expert sand officials from the GST Intelligence and the Central Board of Excise and Customs briefed judges, according to documents available in the public domain. The deliberations took place at a recent national judicial conference for high court judges on the GST regime organised by the Bhopal based National Judicial Academy. Topics ranging from ´potential areas of conflict and litigation under GST´to ´comparative analysis of concepts: GST visavis Central Excise, Service Taxand VAT´, were discussed. The Business Standard,New Delhi, 20th November 2017

Act fast on GST rate cut or face action Hasmukh Adhia

Act fast on GST rate cut or face action Hasmukh Adhia Companies, including FMCG firms, might be prosecuted if their retailers do not immediately cut the prices of products whose goods and services tax (GST) rates have been slashed.Union Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia says the retailers or the companies cannot continue with higher prices on grounds that the old stocks have not been exhausted. “We have made provisions for the companies to claim the difference from the government as input tax credit. But I am not willing to accept their argument to postpone passing on the benefits to consumers till they have disposed of their old stocks.” According to him, the new prices should be effective from November 15.
 The GST Council in its last meeting this month cut the tax rate on 176 items from 28 per cent to 18 per cent and on two to 12 per cent. There was a huge demand to make these cuts. Speaking in a Doordarshan interview in which Business Standard was present, Adhia, who is also revenue secr…