A traders’ body has urged the Finance Ministry to lower Goods & Services Tax (GST) on various items, including auto parts and aluminium utensils. These are among the 28 items that attract GST at the rate of 28 per cent, the highest slab rate.
This was part of a white paper, prepared and submitted by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The paper presented views for simplification and rationalisation of the GST tax structure.
Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of CAIT, told reporters that he urged the Finance Minister to review items placed under different tax slabs under GST as many of the items are overlapping. “As a matter of policy, the tax rate of raw material should not be more than the tax rate of finished goods,” he said.
The white paper talked about simplifying Form GSTR 9 and 9C (Return Forms) as it demands information which was not prescribed earlier and hence traders are unable to comply with the same.
It also raised many issues such as Advance Ruling, Reverse Charge Mechanism, Rectification of GST Returns, clarification of jurisdiction of CGST & SGST, HSN code issues, Abolition of Form ITC-04, return of expired drugs to be treated as supply, etc. The CAIT also urged to reduce the tax rate for items like hardware, mobile covers, food items, dry fruits, ice cream, food grains, malt/cereal based health food drinks, paints, marble, used vehicles, two-wheelers, agricultural equipments, roasted chana, etc.
Simplify tax procedure
According to a statement issued by CAIT, Sitharaman assured its delegation that she will look into the issues raised by the traders’ body. The intention of the government is certainly to simplify the tax procedure so that more and more people can easily comply with the same.
The trading community being the last mile contact with consumers plays an important role in collection of the revenue and it will be ensured that no undue hardship is faced by traders. The Minister urged the traders to streamline their existing business formats and ensure timely compliance with the law. There is also demand for appointing GST Lokpal in each State and the Centre.
Talking about other issues related to traders in their day-to-day affairs, Khandelwal suggested that in order to encourage adoption & acceptance of digital payments, the bank charges levied on card payments should be subsidised by the government directly to banks and neither the traders nor the consumers should be charged any bank charges on card payment transactions.