GST Council Meet Ends, Rates on Many Consumer Items Slashed

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The GST Council is expected to look at ways to provide relief to exporters in terms of faster refunds as well as compliance. It was decided that immediately from October 10, July's and from October 18, August's refund would be processed and would be given to exporters through cheques. Exporters would be able to use that amount for payment of their taxes, Arun Jaitley said.

Businesses having Rs 1.5 crore turnover make up 90 per cent of the taxpayer base but contribute only six per cent of tax. Firstly, the Council raised the threshold for availing the composition scheme from companies with turnover of Rs 75 lakh to those with turnover of up to Rs 1 crore.

In a major relief to merchant exporters, the GST Council on Friday fixed a tax rate of 0.1 per cent on goods procured for export purposes.

- Many stones used in flooring, except marble and granite - will be now taxed at 18% instead of 28%.

Service providers can not opt for the composition scheme.

According to the previous GST rates, spark-ignition reciprocating or rotary internal combustion piston engine, compression-ignition internal combustion piston engines (semi-diesel or diesel engines) and pumps for dispensing fuel or lubricants were under 28 per cent.

- Paper waste from 12% to 5%.

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- Sliced dried mangoes reduced from 12% to 5%.

Different qualities of yarn whose duty has been reduced from 18% to 12% are: Synthetic filament yarns such as nylon, polyester and acrylic, all artificial filament yarn such as viscose rayon, Cuprammonium, Sewing thread of manmade staple fibres, yarn of manmade staple fibres and sewing thread of manmade filaments.

Under the composition scheme, the tax rate for traders of goods will be 1 per cent, 2 per cent for manufacturers and 5 per cent for restaurants and suppliers of food or drinks. So happens for the 18 per cent GST rate, which was split at 9 per cent Central GST and 9 per cent State GST.

- Services - zari job work - down from 12% to 5%. This is expected to bring big relief to many more small businesses, who will have the convenience of paying a flat rate of 1%, 2% or 5%, and avoid a lot of paperwork.

The English daily also reported that the Customs Department had previously proposed to include foreign companies that engage in online businesses with Malaysians customers to the GST Act as Malaysians are not required to pay GST when they purchase items from e-commerce sites.

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

He said that a majority of them have less than Rs 1 crore of turnover.

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