Rajat Sharma

A Welcome Step on the GST front

GST picOn Friday, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a slew of concessions under Goods & Services Tax (GST) for many sectors in order to give a boost to business. GST rates were cut for as many as 27 goods. Traders with a turnover of Rs 1.5 crore will now have to file quarterly instead of monthly returns under composition scheme. The earlier notification making PAN cards mandatory for purchase of jewellery worth more than Rs 50,000 under Prevention of Money Laundering Act has been withdrawn. These are timely and welcome steps because the jewellers were facing a big slump in business for the last several months. Those working on contract in the construction industry were facing problems, and exporters had run out of cash. Small and medium traders were finding it difficult in filing GST returns every month. Along with this, traders who were not passing on the benefits of GST to consumers will now have to face problems. The Finance Minister has clearly said that traders will now have to pass over the GST concessions to the consumers. All these welcome steps are in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion two days ago that the government has no straightjacket mind (‘lakeer ke faqeer nahin’). What the Finance Minister and the GST council have done on Friday is in line with this thinking, and should be welcomed.

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