Commenting on the outcomes of 35th Mtg of GST Council, Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, said, "By chairing the GST Council Meeting within a month of assuming charge, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has reassured industry that GST remains top priority for the Government. We warmly welcome her strong commitment to ensuring a smooth GST regime," he noted. He commented that the GST Council's approval of e-invoice system and integration with e-way bill system shall greatly add to ease in logistics and reduce transaction cost. "The GST Council's decision to introduce e-invoices shall increase efficiency in paying taxes and further boost the formal economy," he stated.
In place of multiple documents required presently, introducing GST registration with Aadhar number shall add to ease of doing business. The extension of due date for filing of annual return is widely appreciated as industry found it cumbersome to file the first return having multiple registrations. "Initial delay in tax refunds on export goods has been significantly addressed through special clearance drives. Doing away with multiple authorities and ensuring single point refund disbursement to tax payers shall address the issue of delays, said Banerjee. "With the related institutional systems now in place, the time is right for the GST Council to consider further improvement in GST such as coverage of all sectors and convergence of tax slabs", Banerjee added.
Waman Parkhi, Partner, Indirect Tax, KPMG in India
Proposal for reduction in GST rate on electric vehicles will be sent to the Rate Fitment Committee for recommendations. This is a welcome move, as electric vehicles are definitely the technology for the future and will reduce consumption of fossil fuels and therefore should be incentivized. However, certain other categories of vehicles like auto rickshaws, trucks also need to be incentivized considering their impact on the common man
Extending the tenure of the Anti-profiteering body by two more years was a necessity considering pending cases. However, demand by industry for clarity on methodology for anti-profiteering, has still not been addressed by the Government. Moreover after two years of GST , market forces would have already equalized prices making pricing investigations superfluous now.
Abhishek Jain, Tax Partner, EY India
The extension of two months for annual return and audit were much sought for by the industry and its approval comes for as a big relief to businesses; especially in light of the recent clarifications issued. Other in principle approvals of e-ticketing and electronic invoicing, where enforced well, should also help posing checks in tax evasion; but businesses would be keen to understand the precise mechanism of its implementation.
Sachin Menon, Partner and Head, Indirect Tax, KPMG in India
Extension of due date for filing of the first-ever GST annual returns, shall provide a much-needed relief and support to the stakeholders, considering that the returns require to undertake various reconciliations. The two-year extension to the anti-profiteering authority primarily aims to ensure that the benefits of change in rate of tax and benefit of ITC are passed on to the recipient. It would have been more apt if appropriate methodology was also prescribed for determining the profiteering amount.
Mekhla Anand, Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas
The extension of the NAA's tenure was logical given the rate reductions that have been announced over the past few months as well as the Government's intention of rationalising the tax slabs and rates. However the fundamental premise for its existence and operation does continues to be a debatable issue. It is interesting note that the decision on rate reduction for electric motor vehicles has been referred to a fitment committee. This shows a methodical approach to the issue.
Pratik Jain, Partner & Leader, Indirect Tax, PwC India
It is good to see that the decision of the GST council has been taken again with consensus which augment the future of GST in the country. Decision to use aadhar for the purpose of registration is a significant step and could lead to similar linkages with income tax as well in times to come. Decision to implement e-invoicing model means that technology will continue to play a critical role in tax administration. While this system could initially be implemented for B2B segment only, but with e-ticketing for multi-screen cinema halls a similar mechanism is also proposed for B2C segment. If this experiment turns out to be successful, one could see this mechanism getting extended to other B2C segments as well.
The decision to extend timelines for filing annual return and audit report for FY 2017-18 is a welcome move as the industry was not prepared for the current deadline of 30 June. While the extension of term of National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) by two years was expected, one would hope that the government would come up with detailed guidelines and seek to restrict the same only in case of consumer complaints. There is now a need for GST Council to draw a long-term agenda as to what kind of GST does India need in the coming years.
Santosh Dalvi, Partner and Deputy Head, Indirect Tax, KPMG in India
Reference to the fitment committee by the GST council on the issues concerning various facets of electrical vehicles, Solar Power and wind turbines will promote use of non- conventional energy segment. The road map for transition to the new simplified return system will provide sufficient time to the taxpayer to get accustomed to and adopt the new system of compliance.