GST and Trade

As we are expecting that the new regime GST will have a significant effect on the Indian Trade and will have a great impact on the day to day business established in India . Mr. Jose Cyriac, Additional Secretary (Revenue) Ministry of Finance said in the Seminar organized by the Banglore Chamber of Industry and Commerce that GST will be “Trade Friendly”.

According to FM, a new GST regime will generate the targeted revenues with the minimization of exemption. It will broaden the tax base and lower the tax rates. GST is based on destination principle, so the distortions will be reduced fostering a common market across the country. The compliance cost will come down and our trade and industry will become more competitive leading to an increase in exports and lower prices for domestic consumers.

We will discuss in brief, the imposition of GST in different sectors/fields relating to Indian Trade.

As we know in GST, major Central and State taxes will be subsumed and complete, comprehensive set off of input goods and services and phasing out of CST would reduce the cost of local manufactured goods and services. This will increase the competitiveness of Indian goods and services in the international market and thus boost to Indian exports.

In GST, Exports would be zero rated. As a result, the exporters will be eligible to claim the refund of the eligible input tax credits subject to conditions, limitation and procedures. Similar benefits may be given to Special Economics Zones (SEZs). Such benefits will only be allowed to the processing zones of the SEZs. No benefit to the Sales from an SEZ to Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) will be allowed.

Both CGST and SGST will be levied on Import of goods and services into the country. The incidence of tax will follow the principle of destination based tax. The SGST of that State will be applicable where the goods and services are consumed. Full and complete set-off will be available on the GST paid on imports on goods and services.

In GST, the relief is given to whom those who have Small businesses. They are out of the purview of the GST, means that the businesses with an annual turnover of less than Rs 10 lacs would be exempted from the State GST. This limit is applicable for both goods and services.

Moreover, in the interest of small traders and small scale industries and to avoid dual control, the States considered that the threshold for CGST for goods may be kept at Rs 1.5 crore and the threshold for services should also be appropriately high.

The IT infrastructure requirement will be shared by the Central Government through the use of its own IT infrastructure facility. The issues of tying up the State Infrastructure facilities with the Central facilities as well as further improvement of the States own infrastructure, including TINXSYS, is now to be addressed expeditiously and in a time bound manner.

Alcoholic beverages would be kept out of the purview of GST. Sales Tax / Vat could be continued to be levied on alcoholic beverages as is prevailing in the present. There is no objection if some States impose Vat on it and if impose excise duty that may also not to be affected.

On the other hand, tobacco products would be subjected to GST. Centre may be allowed to levy excise duty on tobacco products over and above GST.

So far as petroleum products are concerned, it is decided that the basket of petroleum products, i.e. crude, motor spirit (including ATF) and HSD would be kept outside GST as is the prevailing practice in India . Sales Tax could continue to be levied by the States on these products with prevailing floor rate. Similarly, Centre could also continue its levies.

A final view whether Natural Gas should be kept outside the GST will be taken after further deliberations.

To conclude the above, the GST will give more relief to Industry and trade through a more comprehensive and wider coverage of input tax set off and service tax set off, subsuming of several central and State taxes in the GST and phasing out CST. The transparent and complete chain of set offs which will result in widening of tax base and better tax compliance may also lead to lowering the tax burden on an average dealer in Industry and trade.