In the council meeting, the government also eased return filing process from monthly to quarterly for SMEs, who have annual turnover of less than Rs 150 million.
With small businesses and traders complaining about the compliance burden the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime has put on them, the Council chose to give more businesses the option to avail of the Composition Scheme by raising the turnover limit to Rs 1 crore.
GST council meet also discussed the "teething problems" (difficulties that arise during the initial stages of a project) which has affected the manufacturing sector. "This will benefit small businesses and substantially reduce compliance costs", Jaitley said.
"Large part of the tax collection about 94-95% comes from large taxpayers..."
The Composition Window will be reopened for the traders to migrate or register to the composition scheme. PM Narendra Modi was quick to comment that the decisions would help small and medium businesses.
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# Traders will give 1% tax on turnover up to Rs 1 cr, manufacturers, 2%, and restaurants, 5%. The GoM will have to file its report within a two-week period.
"The GST Council has already taken pro-active measures in rationalizing GST rates in the recent past and the trend would continue in future wherever the taxation is deemed to be slightly on the higher side".
The official said that it is going to be short term pain to tax payers and the State but it will be a big gain in the long term. Jaitley said reverse charge mechanism for transactions between registered and unregistered businesses has been deferred till March 31, 2018.
"Enabling composition of dealers to make inter-state sales is a bold decision and will enable small traders to remain competitive".
The Council also chose to clear all tax refund claims by exporters, with the refund process for July starting by October 10 and for August by October 18.
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Exporters' tax refunds, which have been pending, will be cleared over the next two weeks - those for July by 10 October, and for August by 18 October.
E-wallet for exporters to start from April 1, 2018, says FM Arun Jaitley. The procedure is that a company pays the tax on both inputs and output and then applies for a refund for the tax paid on the inputs.
"Indian GST rate is now the highest in the entire world". This facility would be available even when the vehicle is sold. Service providers with less than 20 lakh revenue have be added to the GST exempt list.
However, the fitment committee will henceforth decide rates based on a concept paper, and not on an ad-hoc basis. Restaurateurs welcomed the move to review the tax structure for the segment. While most exporters see their liquidity and cash crunch issues getting resolved due to easier procedural requirements, others are looking forward to a further reduction in GST rates. Roshan Banan, managing director, Ocean Pearl Hotels, which also runs the Sagar Ratna chain of restaurants, said, "Lower taxes are welcome as it will boost spending and will be good for the restaurant business". Man-made Yarn will be taxed at 12 percent instead of 18 percent.
Other measures to address concerns related to Exim scrips, which are used to pay taxes, are being considered.
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