21st January, 2019

Revision in GST rates likely to ease SMEs, hints govt

The government seems to have a lot of teething trouble with the new tax regime. Now, Revenue Secretary, Hasmukh Adhia, has made an indication that the GST burden on small and medium businesses (SMEs) may get reduced. Adhia said on Oct 23 that some rejig in the rate structure of GST is required to promote the SMEs.

Towards better compliance

Since GST has not been received well due to compliance issues, Adhia has said that “Wherever we find there is a big burden on small and medium businesses and on common man, if we bring them down, there will be a better compliance". He further added to harmonise the division of items to understand the rates better.

The GST Council changed some aspects of the new tax regime to ease the hassles faced by the medium and small business. The small business have been facing the trouble in paying taxes and filing GST returns.

In the recent GST composition structure, the GST Council rationalised the rates of over 100 commodities and has also made the refund process easier for exporters.

Active GST Council

The GST Council will meet for the 23rd time on November 10 in Guwahati. The meeting will be chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprise of representatives from all states.

GST Composition and other revisions

The turnover limit for composition scheme, under which nominal tax rates apply on businesses, has been hiked to Rs 1 crore from Rs 75 lakh earlier.

Also, small businesses with a turnover up to Rs 1.50 crore have now been allowed to file returns and pay taxes quarterly. Earlier the small enterprises were to pay for taxes monthly.
“GST adaptation to take one year”

On being asked how much time the GST system would take to stabilise, Adhia said “It will take one year. Because it is a new system for everybody... There has been a complete overhauling of tax system in GST, so one year is needed.”

Adhia compares the GST implementation in 2017 with VAT implementation in 2005. He said that when VAT was implemented, there was opposition for one year and people were on streets as nobody knew what VAT was. Similarly, there was more opposition this time.