Trade and industry has lot many expectations with regard to GST from the first budget after introduction of Goods and Services Tax Act (GST). There is no proposal as to GST in the Budget making Budget as a non-event for GST experts.
Tax payers were expecting simplification of procedures of filing returns, claiming refund, e-way bill etc. It was further expected that there would be exclusion of exempted supplies from the definition of “aggregate turnover”, permanent omission of Section 9(4) requiring payment of GST on purchases from unregistered persons, allowability of Input tax credits on food and beverages, rent-a-cab, medical insurance etc., allowability of input tax credit of CGST/SGST of one State in the other State, concept of centralised registration for banks, insurance and other such service sector. One would have appreciated proposal to bring natural gas, petroleum products and aviation fuel within GST. Finance Minister in his Budget speech referred to reforms with respect to stamp duty on financial securities transaction in consultation with the States. However, there are no budget proposals referring to eagerly awaited subsumption of stamp duty on real estate. Much expected rationalisation of GST rates for cement, paint, footwear, stationery etc. is not considered by this budget.
It appears that Honorable Finance Minister have refrained from proposing further changes in GST and has left this task to the GST Council. The trade and industry will have to wait for the next Council meeting to pursue their representations.
The authors are the Partners of N. A. Shah Associates
By Nares Sheth and Parag Mehta