GST breather for SMEs, exporters likely today

The Centre will use Friday’s GST Council to push through relief measures and calm jittery businesses complaining about the new tax regime. The panel of state and Union finance ministers is expected to ease exporters’ pain by allowing electronic payment of taxes through “virtual currency“, while announcing a series of measures for small and medium enterprises as it seeks to smoothen the implementation of GST.

Expectations of a raft of measures were triggered after PM Modi’s strong defence of the health of the economy on Wednesday , which he backed up with a meeting with finance minister Arun Jaitley and BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday .

Shah, who is supposed to provide critical political feedback, cancelled his return to Kerala on Thursday for the planned padyatra. Jait ley skipped a scheduled speech at the India Economic Summit on Thursday evening. Details of the meeting, dubbed as routine, were sketchy, but sources said that addressing concerns related to GST are top priority for the government. The big focus on SMEs and exporters, which have been hit hard by GST, will see the Centre and the states allow for filing of quarterly returns by businesses with turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore. This is in addition to a proposal to increase the threshold for the composition scheme to Rs 1crore from Rs 75 lakh, which will allow small businesses, inlcuding eateries, to pay 1-5% tax (based on the businesses they are in) without having to deal with the three-stage filing process, sources told TOI.

On Wednesday , PM Narendra Modi had promised to address all the concerns related to GST. On Monday , revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia had told TOI that the GST Council was expected to remove irritants for SMEs and exporters. In his Dussehra address, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had also called for securing the interests of small businesses and farmers.

While GST has not impacted consumers in any significant manner, businesses are complaining, with SMEs saying that several of them are no longer preferred suppliers to large businesses who insist that they should be registered with the IT network and be part of the tax chain.

In case of relief for exporters, the committee headed by Adhia has suggested that for July , all refunds be processed by October 10 and, for August, this task is to be completed by October 18 on the basis of returns that have been filed. For input credit too, the timeline will be fixed as the Council seeks to speed up the entire process, compared to five-six months taken earlier.

The committee was unable to find a solution to address the concern related to working capital getting blocked, although two options, including exemption from payment of IGST and cess on imported inputs and nominal GST for merchant exporters were considered. Several finance ministers are, however, in favour of the second option which will allow for notional credit of taxes through an electronic medium -being referred to as virtual currency or e-wallet. The credit will be on the basis of past export performance and this can be used to meet the tax liability .

Courtesy by Times of India

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One-way loops, not flyover, for Koramangala

Is there no alternative to a 2.4-km flyover from Kendriya Sadan to Ejipura main road in Koramangala? As the government pushes ahead with this project, residents have proposed two clear seamless closed one-way loops, a solution that entirely negates the need for a flyover.

The flyover is designed as a bi-directional, four-lane road, to be built at a cost of Rs 208 crore by January 2019. But going by the experience of all other flyovers in the city, residents say this too will end up as a temporary, ‘band-aid’ solution destined to destroy the green aesthetics of Koramangala 100-ft road.

So, how does the loop alternative work? One of the architects behind this plan, Prashanth Srinivas, explains: At Sony World junction, the intermediate ring road from Indiranagar will branch out into two one-way loops. The left loop will curve along 80-ft Road and turn right at its junction with Sarjapur Road.

This loop will then move along Sarjapur Road before turning right at the Sarjapur Road-100-ft Road junction near Indian Institute of Astrophysics towards Sony World Junction.

The right loop from Sony World Junction will move along 80-ft road and turn left towards 20th Main Road near Koramangala Indoor Stadium. At the Forum Mall junction, the loop will take another left turn towards Hosur Road and turn left again at its link with Sarjapur Road near St John’s Hospital.

At the Sarjapur Road-100-ft Road junction, the right loop joins the left loop. Taking the 100ft road, the two loops run parallel before reaching Sony World Junction. “The loops will not only double the traffic capacity of the roads but also make available an additional lane to run an AC hop on–hop off bus loop,” says Priyadarshini D, another Koramangala resident behind the plan.

The residents are convinced that the proposed flyover is part of a piece-meal approach. The flyover will be an inefficient solution increasing the 100-ft Road’s capacity only by about 40%. “It may become congested within a short span of five-six years, given the rate of increase in traffic density that the city has been seeing,” they said in a letter addressed to Bengaluru Development Minister, K J George.

The flyover, they said, is a “sub-optimal solution with no long-term prospects”. The project does nothing to deter the incentivisation of private transport over public transport. To back this contention, they drew attention to the Mysuru Road flyover. “It has never been able to carry BMTC buses on such an important arterial transit.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courtesy by Deccan Herald

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BDA to offer alternative sites

The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has started the process of handing over alternate sites to Arkavathy Layout allottees in Nadaprabhu Kempegowda layout through randomisation.

In the first phase, BDA will offer 290 plots of varied dimensions. According to a BDA release the sites will be given to the allottees at no additional cost and the BDA will bear the excessive site cost.

The BDA will offer 184 6×9 metres (30×40 sqft), 65 9×12 metres (40×60) sites and 41 12×18 (50×80) sites. A 30×40 site in Arkavathy cost the BDA Rs 1,13,400, it now costs Rs 10,46,251 in Kempgowda Layout, difference of amount being Rs 9,32,851.

A 40×60 site in Arkavathy Layout cost Rs 2,26,800 now costs Rs 23,25,002 in Kempegowda Layout (difference of Rs 20,98,202). Also a 50×80 site in Arkavathy Layout which cost Rs 4,53,600 now costs Rs 52,31,255 in Kempegowda layout (difference of Rs 47,77,655).

Courtesy by Deccan Herald

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NGT wants expert panel report on Bellandur lake by October 12

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday ordered an expert panel to submit a report on the spot inspection of the surroundings of Bengaluru’s Bellandur Lake by October 12.

Hearing a petition on the incidents of fire in the lake, the bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar ordered the panel to coordinate with the Pollution Control Board and inspect whether builders have followed the 75-metre buffer zone where no construction should take place. The tribunal asked the panel to submit its report the earliest and posted the matter for hearing on October 12. 

The Forward Foundation, an NGO, had earlier submitted to the tribunal that builders were not following the buffer zone and called for a spot inspection by an expert panel.

The NGT then formed the panel and ordered it to submit a report after conducting an inspection. Sajan Poovayya, representing the NGO, said during the latest hearing that despite the NGT’s orders, the expert panel had not conducted a spot inspection.

Courtesy by Deccan Herald

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RBI warns centre against fiscal Boost to Economy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courtesy By Deccan Herald

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GST collection dips 3.6% in Aug on delayed filing

Goods and services tax (GST) collections dipped 3.6% in August from the previous month as delayed filing on account of technical glitches took a toll on the overall collection. Going by the experience in July , the kitty is expected to swell as more taxpayers pay even though the due date is over.

Latest data released by the finance ministry on Tuesday showed that in August, the government managed to rake in Rs 90,669 crore, marginally lower than the revised mop-up of Rs 94,063 crore in July . Initial estimates released on August 29 had estimated the July collections at Rs 92,283 crore. The final returns for August (GSTR 3B) had to be filed by September 20.

The data revealed that there were segments where collections had soared, such as through compensation cess, which is levied on tobacco products, pan masala and automobiles. There was a pickup in demand for large cars, especially SUVs, as the government had planned to increase the cess on these vehicles. Till Monday , 37.63 lakh of the 68.2 lakh entities registered for GST had filed their returns. “The above figures obviously do not include GST to be paid by 10.24 lakh assessees, who have opted for the composition scheme. Additionally , there are still a number of assessees who have not filed their return either for July or August, 2017. The increase in the above stated figures will be informed in due course,“ the government said in a statement.

Businesses have been complaining about difficulty in filing and submitting returns through the GST Network (GSTN) tax portal with many consultants complaining of regular outages and have blamed the lack of adequate capacity on the IT backbone supporting the new tax regime. The accusation has, however, been trashed by GSTN.

“It is too early to hazard a guess on the overall GST collections as many taxpayers have still not paid GST; there is inconsistency in collections because of transitional credit and exporters not being able to claim refund of GST. Things will settle down only in the next few months wherein a clearer picture on GST revenues would emerge,“ said Abhishek Jain, tax partner at consulting firm EY India.

Courtesy by TIMES OF INDIA

 

 

 

 

 

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