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A major law like the GST cannot be implemented without a few hiccups, and figuring out nitty gritties is part of the job description for Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia. The GST has raised concerns not only for the proposed tax structure and the effect on businesses, but also for its power.
It is these laws that the GST council will have to finalise in its next meeting on February 18. Under the proposed GST clause, tax defaulters were liable to be penalised severely. However, after much discussion it has now been confirmed that no arrests will be made for tax evasion of up to Rs. 2 crore. Evaders between 2 and 5 crores will face a bailable arrest, after which the evasion will be considered as a non-bailable tax offence.
Since, there is already a provision for arresting tax evaders under excise and service tax laws, the West Bengal government had serious issues with the clause for arresting evaders under GST, claiming it a ‘draconian’ move. Not only this, the state government has also sent a 16-point recommendation to the Finance Ministry to look into, with suggestions for change in the GST clauses.
The other clauses that will be up for debate on February 18 are the plans for a new financial year, and the disinvestment of state-run IDBI bank. Economic affairs secretary Shaktikant Das said that the government hopes to raise Rs. 72,500 crore in FY18 by divesting shares in public sector firms.
Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia also stressed on the government’s plan to keep to the July 1 deadline. He said that the council will keep the rates and other calculations simple and the four tax slabs will stay at 5 percent, 12 percent, 18 percent and 28 percent. With this in mind, it is important that SMEs and other businesses start their transition to the GST structure right away. Here’s what you can do:
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