GST: Jaitley announces e-wallet for exporters, relief to SMEs

PM Modi in Bharuch

Note that the central government can only propose a change and the final decision can only be taken by the GST Council. Exporters need to pay IGST on import of their inputs, and claim refund from the government under rules. Upfront exemption on purchases for exporters may get GST Council nod.

Reports said the package being considered by the GST Council is more focused on exporters and MSMEs. From April 1, an e-wallet facility will be available for exporters.

Council is likely to decide on providing some relief to exporters in terms of faster refunds as well as compliance. Jaitley has promised steps to boost economic growth back above 7 per cent and towards the levels economists say India requires to generate employment for the one million entering the workforce every month.

The objective behind it is to bring simplicity and reduce the compliance cost for small taxpayers.

For businesses with a turnover up to Rs 1.5 crore, the council permitted filing of quarterly returns as against the monthly filings mandatory earlier.

Thomas Isaac also confirmed that the GST Council has chose to raise the revenue threshold under the composition scheme to Rs 1 crore from Rs 75 lakh at present.

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The composition levy is an alternative method of levy of tax designed for small taxpayers whose turnover is up to Rs. 1 crore and pays a flat rate of tax regardless of what they manufacture, provide as a service or trade they carry on. "However, to make this scheme really effective, it needs to be liberalized more by including all service providers and allowing them to undertake inter-State supplies". A technology company will be allotted the task to develop e-wallets for exporters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said recommendations by GST Council will immensely help small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

"So far, over 15 lakh out of the 90 lakh registered businesses have opted for the composition scheme", he added. The tax on zari work, unbranded ayurveda medicine has been reduced from 12 to 5 per cent. Further, the government has also chose to exempt exporters from IGST for next six months, Thomas Isaac said on the sidelines of the crucial GST Council meeting underway in New Delhi.

"Tax refunds of July and August for exporters to be processed from October 10", Jaitley said.

Highlighting that the officers will first be placed in the Klang Valley prior extending to other states in various stages, the initiative will be based on the needs and requests of the relevant associations and chambers - emphasising that the move is beneficial for those with GST-related issues.

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