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Interim GST relief to continue, e-way bills a must from April 1

The council remained sympathetic to the concerns of exporters and small businesses in enforcing the compliance requirements.

india Updated: Mar 10, 2018 23:21 IST
Gireesh Chandra Prasad
Gireesh Chandra Prasad
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
GST,E way bills,Arun Jaitley
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley flanked by MoS for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla and Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia at the 26th meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, in New Delhi.(PTI File Photo)

Federal indirect tax body, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Saturday decided to extend the interim procedural relaxations available to exporters, small businesses and e-commerce firms by three to six months and made e-way bills compulsory for inter-state shipment of goods from April 1.

The council also decided to retain the current tax return filing system for another three months before it could be replaced with a simpler version with safeguards against tax
evasion.

The decisions to roll out electronic permits for inter-state shipment of goods from the beginning of next fiscal and to build in new safeguards in the proposed new return filing process indicate that the risk of tax evasion is worrying members of the council.

The council remained sympathetic to the concerns of exporters and small businesses in enforcing the compliance requirements.

As per decisions taken at the at its 26th meeting of the council chaired by finance minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi, exporters will continue to benefit from the interim measure announced last October to ease their liquidity problems by way tax exemption on their raw materials under pre-GST schemes such as advance authorization (AA) and export promotion capital goods (EPCG).

This relief, which was to expire by end of March, will now be available till October 1. The pre-GST schemes are being continued as paying taxes first and seeking refunds later—the norm in GST—affects liquidity of the exporter.

Also, the requirement of large customers of small businesses having to pay taxes on behalf of their suppliers under a system called reverse charge has been deferred till June 30.

E-way bills will be made applicable to movement of goods within the state in phases before June 1, clubbing several states together. Harishanker Subramaniam, national leader, indirect tax, EY India, said that with GST revenues more or less stagnating, implementation of e-way bill from April 1 for interstate movement of goods is expected to plug leakages and shore up revenues.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley, said after the meeting: “The council felt that there should be one simple return a month which is not prone to tax evasion…No conclusive decision is taken. The existing system will continue for three more months,” .

First Published: Mar 10, 2018 23:19 IST