The Goods and Services Tax Council on August 4, 2018 formed a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla to address various issues faced by small businesses.
The group will examine all the proposals regarding tax relief for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and make recommendations to the Council. The group will submit its report in the next six weeks.
Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal stated that the issues related to law will be taken up by the Law Committee and those related to the GST rates will be taken up by the Fitment Committee.
Both these committees will deliberate on the issues and submit recommendations to the group of ministers headed by Shiv Pratap Shukla.
This sub-committee on MSMEs will also include:
• Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia
• Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi
• Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma
• Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac
• Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal
Emerging concerns in MSME sector
The MSME sector saw surge in concerns due to significant change in processes under the new GST regime.
Some of the suggestions made by representatives of the MSME sector included allowing taxpayers to increase the threshold of inter-state supplies to Rs 20 lakh without having to register under the GST. Currently, taxpayers need to sign up for the tax, if they make inter-state supplies even if their annual turnover is below Rs 20 lakh.
Another suggestion was distributing half or the central government’s entire share of the GST as refund to taxpayers with a turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore.
Pilot programme to promote digital transactions
The GST council also decided to start a pilot programme to promote digital transactions.
As per the programme, payments made using BHIM UPI and Rupay cards will get a cashback of 20 percent of the GST amount. The cashback will be capped at Rs 100.
The pilot programme will be implemented in any state that is willing to run it voluntarily. Bihar, Gujarat and Maharashtra will be the first few states to incentivise digital payments. Incentivising of digital payments would help in maintaining a better database by the government.
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