GUWAHATI:  The highest rate of 28% will apply to about 50 items now under the Goods and Services tax after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met with his counterparts from states. Earlier, about 200 items were in the maximum of four tax slabs. The decision comes amid complaints by traders and small businesses which say the new nationwide tax, which came into effect from July, has increased their tax and administrative burden.



                                                   Here is your 10-point cheatsheet to this story:
  1. Four months after the government launched the new national tax, the powerful Goods and Services Tax or GST Council is expected to announce a comprehensive overhaul of rates, easing returns filing and providing more relief to small and medium businesses. The council, headed by Mr Jaitley and which has as members finance ministers of states, wraps up a two-day meeting in Assam's Guwahati today and is expected to slash GST rates for over 200 items, including daily use products, by shifting them from the highest 28 per cent GST slab to lower slabs.



  1. The meeting, the council's 23rd, is deliberating on suggestions made by a panel headed by Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. A decision could also be taken on lowering tax rates on food served in air-conditioned restaurants to 12 per cent, down from 18 per cent. The council is also reviewing the need to file three income tax returns every month in a bid to make the filing cycle more taxpayer friendly.



  1. Over 200 daily-use items could get cheaper with the council expected to reduce GST on them from 28 per cent to 18 per cent. These include shampoo, plastic products, sanitary ware, suitcases, paper, stationery, watches and musical instruments.






  1. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had earlier this week hinted at bringing down the number of products in the 28 per cent GST slab, saying some items should never have been taxed at the highest rate. "We have been gradually bringing them down. The whole idea is, as your revenue collections neutralise we must prune it and that is the pattern in which the Council has so far been functioning. I see that as a future guide as far as the Council is concerned," Mr Jaitley said.






  1. The GST Council has been meeting every month since the new indirect tax regime was launched on July 1 and has already rationalised tax rates for over 100 items. Under GST, goods and services are taxed in four brackets -- 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent.







  1. Today's GST Council meeting comes amid criticism of the government's implementation of GST, the country's biggest tax reform since Independence. Opposition parties have alleged that the timing and implementation of GST has brought small traders and business to their knees.




  1. Congress leaders including Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal and Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda led protests outside the Guwahati hotel where the meeting is being held and alleged that all but five states have reported revenue losses after the launch of GST.





  1. The Congress has accused the BJP-led government of not heeding their warnings earlier and agreeing to review the GST rates now only with an eye on next month's crucial assembly elections in Gujarat, where the important voter group of small traders is upset with the new tax regime.




  1. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has in an aggressive campaign in Gujarat labelled GST as the "Gabbar Singh Tax" (after the villain in famous Bollywood film Sholay) and urged the state's traders to reject the BJP, which has ruled the state for the last 22 years. The notes ban and GST, the Congress leader said, are "twin torpedoes" that have "killed the economy."





  1. Prime MInister Narendra Modi has used his public meetings in Gujarat to emphasise the long-term gains that are expected of demonetisation and the GST, and has said those who oppose them are weakening the cause of fighting corruption.





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New Delhi: India's Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections in September totalled Rs 92,150 crore and were collected from 42.91 lakh businesses, the government announced on Tuesday.

"The total revenue in GST regime under different heads (up to October 23) for September 2017 is Rs 92,150 crore," a Finance Ministry statement said here.


Of this, Rs 14,042 crore is on account of Central GST, and Rs 21,172 crore as State GST.

Integrated GST collections stood at Rs 48,948 crore, of which Rs 23,951 crore came from imports.

The government also said that the Compensation Cess was Rs 7,988 crore, of which Rs 722 crore was from imports in September.

Till Monday, 42.91 lakh business entities had filed September's initial GSTR-3B return, which is basic self-assessment of sales and purchase, the statement added.

Over Rs 95,000 crore was collected through GST during July, the first month of its implementation, while the figure for August was over Rs 91,000 crore.

Earlier on Tuesday, the government waived the penalty for filing late returns for August and September.

"To facilitate taxpayers, late fee on the filing of GSTR-3B for August and September has been waived. Late fee paid will be credited back to taxpayer ledger," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced in a tweet.

Late fee of Rs 200 per day was being charged from businesses.

For August, only 55 per cent of businesses had filed returns till September 25. September 20 was the last date to file the GSTR-3B.

For September, the last date to file GSTR-3B was October 20.

GSTR-3B is a summary return of details of outward supplies, inward supplies, credit and payment of tax.






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New Delhi:  The 5 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) on devices used by phyically challenged would actually lead to a reduction in their prices, the Union Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.

"5 per cent GST rate on these devices/equipments would enable their domestic manufacturers to claim refund of any accumulated input tax credit. That being so, the 5 per cent concessional GST rate on these devices/equipment would result in reduction of the cost of domestically manufactured goods, as compared to the pre-GST regime," the ministry said in a statement. 

The official clarification comes after Congress criticised the governemnt for levying GST on wheelchairs and Braille typewriters and demanded a full roll-back of the "disability tax".

"GST on disability aids like wheelchairs and Braille typewriters, once again shows this government's complete insensitivity towards our most vulnerable," Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet on Monday.

The Finance Ministry statement, noting that "questions are raised about GST rates fixed for specific devices for physically challenged persons", said that most of the inputs and raw materials for manufacture of these assistive devices/equipments attract 18 per cent GST. 

"The concessional 5 per cent GST rate on these devices/equipments would enable their domestic manufacturers to avail input tax credit of GST paid on their inputs and raw materials.

"Further, the GST law provides for refund of accumulated input tax credit, in cases, where the GST rate of output supply is lower than the GST rate on inputs used for their manufacture," it said.

The ministry contended that if these devices/equipments are exempted from GST, then while imports of such devices/equipments would be zero rated, such domestically-manufactured devices/equipments will continue to bear the burden of input taxes, increasing their cost and resulting in negative protection for the domestic value addition.

"The 5 per cent concessional GST rate on such devices/equipments will result in a win-win situation for both the users of such devices, the disabled persons, as well as the domestic manufacturers of such goods. It is for this reason that the Council has kept these items in 5 per cent rate slab," it said.

Assistive devices and rehabilitation aids for physically challenged persons, which have been kept at 5 per cent GST rate, include Braille writing instruments, canes, electronic aids like the sonic guide, arithmetic aids like the Taylor Frame (arithmetic and algebra types), Braille calculators, electronic measuring equipment such as callipers, drafting and drawing aids, orthopaedic appliances, wheel chairs, artificial electronic larynx and artificial electronic ear. 

Talking books (in the form of cassettes, discs), talking thermometers, Braille computer terminals, Braille paper, all tangible appliances designed for use by the blind, Braille typewriters, Braille watches, teaching and learning aids for blind, urine collection bags, instruments and implants for severely physically handicapped and joints replacement and spinal instruments have also beenk kept in the 5 per cent GST slab. 



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NEW DELHI: A day after the pan-India Goods and Services Tax (GST) came into effect, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia on Sunday cleared certain misconceptions about the new indirect tax regime.

"There are seven myths going around about GST which are not true. I want to dispel them one by one in form of myth and reality. Pl see these," Adhia tweeted.

Cautioning people against falling prey to rumours, Adhia said in a series of tweets that the process around the implementation and execution of GST will be transparent.

"Nothing to worry on GST implementation, don't need big IT infrastructure. Even B2B don't need big software. We will give free software," he said.

He posed the myth-reality binary on GST thus: 






More News updates on GST, Click here: GST Special Coverage


NEW DELHI:  On a day after India's biggest tax reform came into force, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday vowed to continue the crackdown on black money and announced that the government cancelled registration of one lakh firms over the last 48 hours and was probing 37,000 shell companies on suspicions of funneling black money. Also, he said, 3 lakh other companies were under the scanner for suspicious transactions.

PM Modi patted his back for delivering on his promise to clean up the economy and cited recent statistics about the sharp decline in deposits by Indians in Swiss banks as one proof. "Those who have looted the poor will have to give back what they have looted," he said. But his 'I mean business' speech wasn't just aimed at the public at large outside, but the thousands of aspiring and practising chartered accountants gathered at the national capital's stadium as well.

He called them an important pillar of the Indian economy and appealed to their patriotism to nudge them not to help their clients fudge their accounts.

The prime minister said it required courage to act against a large number of companies as he had, and told them that this courage came from "desh bhakti", or patriotism. "Your patriotism is not less than mine," PM Modi told them. But, how is it possible that India had just 32 lakh taxpayers who declared an annual income of more than 10 lakh when there were 2 crore engineering and management graduates and 8 lakh doctors. When 2.18 crore people travelled abroad last year alone. That, he said, was India's bitter truth.
PM Modi asked his audience to take a pledge to bring people in the tax bracket rather than boasting about the number of clients they saved from paying taxes. It is said that a family which loses its house in a fire can stand on its feet, rebuild the house if they work together. But if one of them steals, there is no hope. The same principle applied for the economy too.

Holding a mirror to his hosts for the evening, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, PM Modi pulled out figures that showed just 25 chartered accountants (CA) had been penalised over the last 3 years for irregularities. And this, when over 1,400 cases have been pending for many years, he said.

PM Modi's stress on the chartered accountants comes against the government's stress on expanding the tax base. The GST - that merges dozens of central and state indirect taxes into a single tax - that was launched yesterday is the latest tool. Government officials have told NDTV that GST would not only bring more traders under the tax net but would also be used to identify people who were making money but not declaring income tax.

The prime minister told the CAs that the Constitution and society placed a lot of trust in them. "Your signature is more powerful than that of the Prime Minister and the government also believes the accounts signed by you," he said. But you have to decide whose interests come first; your client or the country.



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New Delhi: India should have a "new normal" with citizens ready to pay the taxes they need to pay and a new mindset to move from a developing nation to a developed one, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said here on Saturday.

"During the time of demonetisation I have said that India now needs to define the new normal. And the normal is whatever taxes I have to pay, I need to pay," he said, addressing the 'Chartered Accountants Day' organised by The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

Jaitley said it is time now that India should move from a "developing economy to a developed economy".

"To take the country forward this mindset should also become the mindset of a developed economy."

The government on Saturday rolled-out the Goods and Services Tax (GST) across the country, the biggest indirect tax reform.

Jaitley pointed out that for decades there had been a tendency to evade taxes.

He referred to the 1 per cent levy on gold that led to protests across the country and it had to be withdrawn. But the same set of people welcomed GST Council's decision to put gold in 3 per cent tax bracket.

Jaitley said the government cannot keep lending money from various institutions to run the country. It has to get money from the citizens in the form of taxes.

"We cannot do it because in our system it became a norm to evade taxes."

Speaking about GST, he said it will add to the strength of the economic order and the formal economy will grow.

Referring to the current tax base, Jaitley said it was very low. Of the 130 crore population, only 78 lakh people show income above Rs 5 lakh, of which 61 lakh are salaried people.

He said, in indirect taxation under the three important categories - Service Tax, Value Added Tax and Excise Duty - a total 80 lakh people were registered, which is less than 1 per cent of the total population.

"This is the top 1 per cent economic strata of the society, which says they don't know how to operate computer and hence I do not want to pay tax," Jaitley said, adding that this was happening in a country which was famous for its information technology worldwide.

He said of the 80 lakh indirect tax payers, those below Rs 20 lakh a year are exempted and for those above Rs 75 lakh composition is provided.

"Please do something for the country - for the defence and development. Our system has been that not paying taxes is not wrong. No section can claim I have not paid taxes, so I will not pay."

"The government which blinks will never be able to bring reforms. We are never scared to do any reform," he added.




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Karaikudi (Tamil Nadu): In a scathing attack on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in its current form, senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday said it will put a burden on the common man and hugely affect small, medium and micro businesses and entrepreneurs while being inflationary with multiple rates.

The anti-profiteering provision in the new law will be an instrument of harassment in the hands of officials, he told a press conference here. 

Chidambaram said 80 per cent of all goods and services will bear a tax and prices will be higher. "There will be inflation. What is the government going to do about it?" he asked.

He said small, medium and micro scale entrepreneurs and traders will be affected in a "big" way because they are not ready for the roll out of the new law. "They asked for more time. They have been denied time," he said. 

Chidambaram said a "peculiar arrangement" has been made in the name of compromise and the law was being hastily implemented while the traders and business wanted some more time because they were not prepared for it yet. The consequences of the new law will be known only after some time, he added.

"This not the real GST that the Congress had desired and the ideal GST devised by experts. Nothing can be a 
worse legislation than this," he said.

Chidambaram said the UPA government had done all the homework for the law and at that time the BJP had bitterly opposed it. "The same BJP, when in opposition, had protested against the GST tooth and nail. No one can deny this fact," he said.

He said ideally GST meant one tax and the Congress had accepted the concept of a standard rate of 15 per cent along with a standard plus or standard minus rate. "We had said at any rate the tax cannot be beyond 18 per cent. We also accept the fact that there cannot be one tax rate in view of the current economic situation." 

Chidambaram, who had included the GST proposal in the Union Budget for the first time when he was Finance Minister, said against the concept of one rate, there are multiple rates now -- zero per cent, 2.5 per cent, 3 per cent, 5 per cent, 15 per cent, 18 per cent, 28 per cent and 40 per cent. 

"It is still far away from being a GST. It is still not GST," he said, adding that even the Chief Economic Adviser has favoured only a 15 per cent rate.

The former Finance Minister said the traders still do not know which GST would cover them and who is levying the tax on them -- whether the Centre or the state. "Ninety per cent will be under CGST and 10 per cent under SGST. A trader in Karaikudi will wonder whether he will come under the central government or state government officials." 

On the compliance front, he said once a trader does business in one state the compliance in the form filing returns would amount to 36 plus one returns, and if he does business in seven states, then it will amount to 37 returns in each state. The trader has to have a big machinery to keep up with compliance requirements. "This is the biggest shortcoming in the new law," he said.

Chidambaram contended that many products like petroleum, electricity and alcohol have been kept out of GST. 
"Petroleum and electricity constitute 35 to 40 per cent of the economy which is out of GST," he said, adding there will be two taxation systems -- one old that includes customs, excise and sales tax covering these products, and the other new.

The anti-profiteering provisions will be an instrument in the hands of the officials and "one knows what will happen if an instrument of harassment is given in the hands of officials".

This provision, Chidambaram said, is a mockery and has been made by those who do not understand market economics. "In market economics, one trader will not price the product higher when someone else is selling it at a lower rate and lose business. But the officials can question the trader selling it at a higher rate and harass him," he said.



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नई दिल्ली :  सड़क परिवहन मंत्री नितिन गडकरी ने कहा कि 165 देश हैं जिन्होंने जीएसटी लागू किया है।
नीति आयोग के सदस्य बिबेक देबरॉय ने कहा कि बाकी देशों में जीएसटी नहीं है, वैट सिस्टम लागू है। सिर्फ 7 देश हैं जहां जीएसटी है और उनमें से सिर्फ एक देश है जहां भारत की तरह ही संघीय ढांचा है - कैनेडा। कैनेडा में भी दो राज्यों ने इसे लागू नहीं किया है। ये परफेक्ट जीएसटी नहीं है।

मुख्य आर्थिक सलाहकार अरविंद सुब्रमण्यन ने कहा कि अभी सुधार कि काफी गुंजाइश है, उनके हिसाब से रेट 2-3 ही होने चाहिए, अभी 4 हैं। हालांकि पहले वो सिर्फ एक रेट 15% रखने की वकालत करते रहे हैं। ये भी कहा कि सभी चीज़ों को जीएसटी में लाना होगा जैसे शराब, पेट्रोल, गैस, बिजली आदि।

पहली बात तो अभी एक देश एक टैक्स जैसा कुछ नहीं हुआ है। सब चीज़ें जीएसटी में आई ही नहीं हैं। राज्यों ने जीएसटी मॉडल पास किया है लेकिन अपने अपने बदलावों के साथ। अगर आप 500 रुपये से नीचे का जूता लेते हैं तो उस पर 5% टैक्स है। अगर 500 से ऊपर का लेते हैं तो 18% है। 1000 से नीचे के कपड़ों पर 5% टैक्स। 1000 से ऊपर - 12%। सूती फाइबर -5%। कृत्रिम फाइबर - 18%। हमारे यहां 4 टैक्स स्लैब रखे गए हैं। बाकी देशों जैसे ऑस्ट्रेलिया में सिर्फ एक है। एक ही रेट की बात अरविंद सुब्रमण्यन कर रहे थे पहले।

प्रधानमंत्री ने कहा कि इंस्पेक्टर राज, टैक्स टेररिज्म ख़त्म होगा। अभी तक जो कार्रवाई होती थी, उसमें था कि डिफाल्टर पर छापा होता था, FIR दर्ज होती थी और फिर आगे की कार्रवाई होती थी। मुख्यमंत्री ममता बैनर्जी और सांसद दीपेंद्र हुड्डा का कहना है कि जीएसटी में क्लॉज़ है कि अब सीधे गिरफ़्तारी हो सकती है। अफसरों को खुली छूट है। गैर ज़मानती अपराध कर दिया गया है जिसमें सज़ा भी 1-5 साल की है। तो ये इंस्पेक्टर राज की वापसी है।

कल के आधी रात के जश्न में प्रधानमंत्री ने सभी सरकारों को इसका श्रेय दिया। कांग्रेस और टीएमसी ने इसका बहिष्कार किया था। लेकिन शायद उन्हें इसमें शामिल होना चाहिए था क्योंकि आलोचना तो आप कर सकते हैं किसी कार्यक्रम की लेकिन इस नए टैक्स सिस्टम को लाने में सबका योगदान है। आखिर संसद से ही पास हुआ है। राष्ट्रपति प्रणब मुखर्जी का कहना हैं कि वित्त मंत्री के तौर पर वो इसकी रूपरेखा बनाने में उनकी भी भूमिका थी

लेकिन इस जश्न में एक दिक्कत ये है कि इससे लोगों की उम्मीदों को बहुत ज़्यादा बढ़ाया जा रहा है। सभी अर्थशास्त्री बहुत संतुलित सी बात कह रहे हैं कि स्वागत होना चाहिए, ये एक शुरुआत है। महंगाई बढ़ेगी, दिक्कतें होंगी, सुधार की काफ़ी गुंजाइश है। अरविंद सुब्रमनियन ने तो इकोनॉमी पर भी बोलने से मना कर दिया क्योंकि वो जुलाई में आने वाले आर्थिक सर्वे का इंतज़ार करना चाहते हैं। लेकिन सरकार जश्न मनाने के लिए नतीजे का इंतज़ार नहीं करना चाहती। वो इतिहास में दर्ज हो जाना चाहती है। ऐतिहासिक तो ये है ही कि टैक्स सिस्टम में बड़ा बदलाव है। लेकिन ऐतिहासिक कदम अच्छा है या बुरा है, ये नतीजे बताएंगे। जापान में recession आ गया था। मलेशिया में 2015 में लागू हुआ और वहां कह रहे हैं कि अर्थव्यवस्था बेहतर हुई है। नोटबंदी जैसा कदम तो ये नहीं है। नोटबंदी जिन वजहों को बताकर की गई, उसमें तो कोई बदलाव आया नहीं। अर्थव्यवस्था ज़रूर धीमी हो गयी।

जीएसटी काफी सोच-समझकर और काम करके लागू किया गया है। 20 साल लगे हैं। अभी काफ़ी और सुधार किए जाएंगे धीरे-धीरे। पर देखने वाली बात ये है कि अर्थशास्त्री और राजनेता एक बात नहीं बोलते और ना सोचते। वो कहते हैं ना कि पॉलिटिशियन इकोनॉमी नहीं समझता। इकोनॉमिस्ट पॉलिटिक्स नहीं समझता।

और आम आदमी दोनों ही नहीं समझता।





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NEW DELHI: President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi pressed a button in parliament's Central Hall a little after midnight to launch the Goods and Services Tax (GST), India's biggest tax reform ever. The unified tax system, said the President, is "the culmination of a 14 year journey." Speaking before him, PM Modi described GST as Good and Simple Tax, stating that it is not the achievement of any one party or government. The Congress and several other opposition parties boycotted the function


Here are the top 10 updates ahead of GST launch 2017:

  1. "Today, after years, for a new economy, give new power to our federalism - there can be no better place than this," PM Modi said to applause. "We are deciding India's future," he said. 



  1. "It is remarkable that in 18 meetings of the GST council, all decisions taken by consensus," said President Pranab Mukherjee.




  1. The event, which began at 11 pm, extended to just after midnight to usher in GST on July 1, the new date set after an April 1 deadline was missed. A gong was sounded at 12 signalling GST is here.




  1. Mr Jaitley, who chaired a meeting of the powerful GST Council just hours before the launch, said the consensus among parties that has brought GST to launch is a high point in Indian politics at a time that the world is seeing slow growth and divisiveness. "It shows India can collectively think and act with maturity for broader purpose," the minister said.




  1. Central Hall has been fitted with new carpets and sound systems for the big night. Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda is seated at the high table with the PM and President, as are Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Vice President Hamid Ansari.





  1. Former PM Dr Manmohan Singh was invited too but his party the Congress' boycott means he is not attending.





  1. The government has invited all the Members of Parliament, Chief Ministers and state finance ministers. Opposition parties like the Congress, the Left, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, DMK and Lalu Yadav's RJD are boycotting the event. The Aam Aadmi Party isn't attending either.





  1. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal (United) or JD(U) has backed GST and though he and other senior leaders of his party are not attending, his party lawmakers have not been asked to stay away.






  1. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari told earlier today, "Congress is a confused party; where their Chief Ministers and finance ministers are supporting the GST and at the same time party leaders are criticising it."





  1. "A reform that holds great potential is being rushed through in a half-baked way with a self-promotional spectacle," Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation at the Central Hall of Parliament ahead of the GST launch at midnight. While the Congress and Trinamool Congress decided to abstain from the launch event, it was attended by NCP chief Sharad Pawar, former PM HD Deve Gowda and NDA allies. The landmark tax reform was launched just after midnight by the Prime Minister and President Pranab Mukherjee.


Here are 5 quotes of PM Narendra Modi's speech
  1. Today, the GST Council had its 18th meeting. It is a coincidence that the Bhagavad Gita also has 18 chapters.


  1. Imagine what India would've looked like today had Sardar Vallabhai Patel hadn't united all kingdoms of India. Just like that, GST is uniting all markets of India today.


  1. Albert Einstein had once said that if there is one thing that is most difficult to understand, it is income tax. I wonder what he would have said had he seen our tax system.


  1. The law may say GST is Goods and Services Tax, but in reality it is Good and Simple Tax. More than economic reform, it is a social reform.


  1. Sometimes there are concerns when we do new things. People who create unnecessary concerns, I request them not to.

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