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GST needs to be simplified: CAIT delegation meets CBIC Chairman

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Jamshedpur, June 3: Raising several critical issues pertaining to GST Act and rules which have made GST taxation system quite complicated, a delegation of the Confederation of All India Traders ( CAIT ) led by its Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal today met Vivek Johri, Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC ) and while handing over a comprehensive memorandum on GST called upon the CBIC to streamline the GST tax structure in the country in pursuance of ease of doing business objective of PM Narendra Modi.

CAIT delegation comprised of Poonam Joshi, noted tax advocate & Chairman of GST Committee, office Secretary and others. Member, GST in CBIC & others were also present.

Vivek Johri appreciated the points raised by the delegation and said that Government is committed to provide ease of doing business under GST regime. However, there will be no sympathy with the tax evaders. He appealed the traders through CAIT to follow timely compliance under GST and genuine problems of the traders will be redressed within no time.

While discussing GST issues, Khandelwal said that there is a wide scope of increasing the number of assesses across the Country but for that GST taxation system needs to be rationalised & simplified. The trade associations across the Country are willing to join hands with the Government in widening the tax net and thereby yielding more revenue to both Central & State Governments. He suggested that to monitor the implementation of GST and for speedy redressal of the grievances of the traders, it would be appropriate to form Joint GST Committee at every District comprising of tax officials and trade representatives.

CAIT National Secretary Suresh Sonthalia said that GST has been implemented for now almost 5 years and both the Government & assesses have experienced benefit & loopholes of GST tax system. It will be appropriate if the GST Council make a total review of the Act and Rules in consultation with stakeholders to make it a most acceptable tax system.

Sonthalia while deliberating on some of the core & critical issues of GST said that so far no Appellate Tribunal has been formed either at Central level or at State levels resulting into gross inconvenience to the traders to the extent that even for a small disagreement on any issue, the traders have to seek legal recourse which is time consuming & expensive too. Likewise in the absence of a National Advance Ruling Authority, different tax rates on same commodity are being levied thereby distorting the spirit of GST. Therefore, both these Authorities should be formed at the earliest. Cancellation of registration and provisional attachment of bank account is arbitrary and may be stopped. Date of Challan should be the document for payment of tax and not Form GSTR-3B. The rate of interest on late payment of tax on the tax not received and not paid should be reduced to 12% from 18%.To replace phrase “Non-GST Supply” with “Non-Taxable Supply” wherever appearing in Form GSTR-3B, GSTR-1, GSTR-9, GSTR-9C etc. Remove the phrase “all proceedings in respect of the said notice shall be deemed to be concluded from subsection (8) and (11) of section 74 of the CGST Act.

The CAIT delegation strongly pitched for 5% Tax on textile & footwear having cost of below Rs one thousand and re-categorisation of 28% tax slab for keeping only sin items and all other items including auto spare parts and aerated drinks & other items may be kept in lower tax rate . The CAIT also said that levy of 5% tax on branded food products and zero tax rate on unbranded food products is creating confusion and therefore since these items are of essential nature may be put under same slab either zero tax or 5% tax rate. Other items include reduction in rate on ice cream and provide the benefit of composition Scheme to Ice cream manufacturers.Rate of GST on Imitation Zari be 12%. Clarification with regard to rate on mango pulp to be taxed under 5%. Clarification with regard to rate on un fried Fryums are required.

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