Major GST relief for exporters, small traders: Highlights

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"I have told the GST council to review the problems being faced by traders and we are willing to make changes as per the suggestions", PM Modi had said in his speech at the Institute of Company Secretaries.

Addressing the media after 22nd GST Council meeting in Delhi, Jaitley said that the pattern of collection of GST is not clear after two months because it was a period of transition. For the GST tax rate of 12 per cent, it is split at 6 per cent Central GST (which goes to the Centre's kitty) and 6 per cent State GST (which goes to the state's kitty).

Also, salwar suit in a three-piece set has been classified as fabric and 5 per cent GST would be levied on it.

- Unbranded ayurvedic medicines down from 12% to 5%. In-principle it has been agreed upon to bring down the rate for AC restaurants to 12 percent. Similarly, tax on paper waste was also reduced from 12 percent to 5 percent.

Job works like zari, imitation, food items and printing items would attract 5 per cent tax instead of 12 per cent. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with Rs 1 crore turnover will have to file quarterly returns, the Finance Minister said. However, the condition for quarterly GST return filing is that the turn over of the business should be less than ₹1.5 Cr and the business should be a non-composition assessee.

GST has been abolished on import of a number of goods, including rigs for oil and gas exploration and medicines supplied free by worldwide agencies and bonafide gifts up to Rs 5,000.

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The threshold for composition scheme in GST has been hiked from Rs 75 lakh to Rs 1 crore.

SERVICES: There will be no tax on hotels and lodges with tariff below Rs 1,000.

Jaitley said a group of ministers would revisit the tax on AC restaurants.

E-wallet for each exporter to be made and notional amount as advance refund will be given. "Since GST has no exemptions, for now, all exporters will be given an e-wallet".

'Informal sources of working capital (for smaller firms) has dried up, ' said Anil Bhardwaj at the Federation of Indian Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises. "And refunds will be offset against this". Asserting that genuine corporates will not face action, the minister of state for corporate affairs said non-compliant companies are tarnishing the image of good ones. Exporters need to pay IGST on import of their inputs, and claim refund from the government under rules.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is now chairing the meeting of the council.

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