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GST rate structure needs rejig to cut burden on small businesses: Hasmukh Adhia

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New Delhi, Oct 23: Nearly four months into the Goods and Services Tax (GST) roll out, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has said that some rejig in the rate structure may be required to reduce the burden on small ,medium businesses and common man. 

In an interview to news agency PTI, Adhia stated “There is need for some rejig in rates… it is possible that some items in the same chapter are divided. There is a need for harmonisation of items chapter wise and wherever we find there is a big burden on small and medium businesses and on common man, if we bring them down, there will be a better compliance.

“We are very keen to do it as early as possible, it depends on how much time the fitment committee takes to work on it. They need data, calculate revenue loss. They need various comparisons. But harmonisation has to be done,” he added.

Not only this, he also said GST which amalgamates number of central and state levies including excise duty, service tax and VAT, will take about a year to stabilise, citing as it is a new system for everybody.

Referring to Value Added Tax (VAT) regime, he asserted “If you see the experience of VAT, there was opposition for one year. People were on the streets because nobody knew about VAT, the last fellow was only paying sales tax. But this time there is  more opposition as compared to earlier tax roll out.

The GST Council, headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising representatives of all states, is slated to hold its 23rd meeting in Guwahati on November 10.

In last meeting, the council discussed the concerns of small traders and reviewed rates of  26 items.

After the meeting,  Jailtey announced e-wallet for exporters April 1 2018 and the limit for turnover in compensation scheme increased from Rs.75 lakh to Rs. 1 crore and informed people about other key decisions.

Under the new composition scheme traders now pay 1 %, manufacturers 2% & restaurants 5%.

Apart from this, those who have with turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore will have to file quarterly returns instead of monthly filings. While entrepreneurs having  turnover above Rs 1.5 crore, the existing system will continue of three returns per month and so on.

Now lets see what the GST panel will decide in its next meeting to ease the burden on public, small and medium traders.

Wefornews Bureau 

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Key Indian equity market indices open in green

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sensex up

Mumbai, Dec 13: Taking a cue from global markets, the key Indian equity market indices opened higher on Thursday.

The Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which had closed at 35,779.07 points on Wednesday, opened higher at 36,024.88 points.

Minutes into trading, it was quoting at 35,979.33 points, up by 200.26 points, or 0.56 per cent.

At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader 51-scrip Nifty, which had closed at 10,737.60 points on Wednesday, was quoting at 10,807.40 points, up by 69.80 points or 0.65 per cent.

Buying at lower levels and hopes of an easing monitory policy with the appointment of Shaktikanta Das as the new Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor, pushed the key equity indices up.

The Sensex was up by 629.06 points or 1.79 per cent at the Wednesday’s closing. In the day’s trade, the barometer 30-scrip sensitive index had touched a high of 35,826.58 points and a low of 35,167.47 points. The Nifty, too, was up by 188.45 points or 1.79 per cent.

On Thursday, Asian indices were showing a positive trend. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was quoting in green, up by 1.13 per cent while Hang Seng was up by 1.43 per cent, South Korea’s Kospi was also up by 0.97 per cent. China’s Shanghai Composite index was trading in green, up by 1.50 per cent.

Overnight, Nasdaq closed in green, up by 0.95 per cent while FTSE 100 was also up by 1.08 percent at the closing on Wednesday.

IANS

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RBI is accountable, government runs country: Shaktikanta Das

On the issue of RBI’s reserves, he said a committee to examine it would be constituted shortly and then with the appointment of its Chairman, the terms of reference of the committee would be drawn with fixed timelines.

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Shaktikanta Das

Mumbai, Dec 12 : Declaring that he will uphold the “autonomy, integrity and credibility” of the RBI, newly-appointed Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Wednesday that the government is responsible for running the country and the central bank is also accountable.

Briefing reporters here after taking charge as the 25th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Das said that consultations with stakeholders have become fundamental to the central bank’s functioning in view of the complexity of modern day decision-making, and as part of this process he would meet the heads of the Mumbai-based state-run banks on Thursday.

Meetings with public sector banks outside Mumbai would follow “after some days”, he added.

“The RBI is a great institution and I will try my best to uphold its autonomy, identity and values. The autonomy, integrity and credibility is very important for this great institution and it will remain intact,” he assured.

In response to queries on the recent government-RBI tiff culminating in the resignation of Urjit Patel as Governor, Das refused to go into contentious issues.

“I do not like to go into whatever the issues or what are the issues between government which runs the country and the RBI, but every institution has to have its professional integrity, maintain its professional autonomy. At the same time, every institution also must adhere to the principles of accountability,” he said.

“Government is not just a stakeholder but I mean the government of the day runs the economy, runs the country and manages major policy decisions.

“There has to be a free, fair, objective and very frank discussion between the government and the RBI. And, I believe that all issues, however contentious, can be resolved through discussions,” he added.

Das, who holds post graduation degree in history from the Delhi University, unlike his predecessors Urjit Patel and Raghuram Rajan, who were economists of repute, said the RBI board meeting would be held on Friday (December 14) as scheduled.

“We will hold the central board meeting as planned on December 14 and go through the agenda and discuss the various issues that are listed,” he said.

Das took charge as the RBI Governor a day after Urjit Patel resigned amidst a tiff with the Central government on the issue of RBI’s autonomy. Das had steered the monetary situation post-demonetisation as the Economic Affairs Secretary.

On the issue of RBI’s reserves, he said a committee to examine it would be constituted shortly and then with the appointment of its Chairman, the terms of reference of the committee would be drawn with fixed timelines.

Das said he does not want to discuss individual issues as he intends to settle down first and study the issues before taking any decision. On capital requirement in the economy, he said he is open to discussing all issues within the ambit of RBI.

“After the amendment of the RBI Act, the inflation targeting continues to be very important and it’s very heartening to note that inflation broadly is as per the targets and inflation outlook also looks fairly benign at this stage, but we have to be very watchful of the developments,” he said.

Health of public sector banks, liquidity issue and maintenance of growth trajectory of Indian economy are some of the important issues for which he would interact with stakeholders and get an internal feedback before taking a view on these, he said.

Unlike his immediate predecessor Patel, who the government officials alleged had little stakeholder consultations, Das said consultation with all stakeholders always adds value to understanding and his top priority is the banking sector.

“To begin with, I have convened a meeting with the MDs and CEOs of the public sector banks based in Mumbai tomorrow. Banking is an important segment of our economy and is currently facing several challenges which are of critical importance and they need to be dealt with.”

He will follow it up with similar consultations with the state-run banks from outside Mumbai and still later with the chiefs of private sector banks to understand the issues relating to them.

“This is a general consultation. There is no fixed agenda,” he said denying that RBI’s Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework, a measure to check banks’ financial health, would be discussed. Currently, 11 out of 21 public sector banks are barred from lending.

Looking forward to working with the officers and staff of the RBI, Das said he always found RBI officers possessing inherent core competence and professionalism to deal with any technical issue.

“I will work as a team with other officials here (RBI) in the best interest of the economy,” he said. Das is a retired 1980-batch IAS officer from Tamil Nadu cadre.

Immediately prior to his current assignment, Das was acting as 15th Finance Commission member and G-20 Sherpa of India. In last 38 years, Das held important positions in Central and state governments in areas of finance, taxation, industries and infrastructure.

IANS

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November retail inflation falls to 2.3%, October IIP up over 8%

Similarly, the output of consumer non-durables rose during October by 7.9 per cent, and that of consumer durables by 17.6 per cent.

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wholesale inflation

New Delhi, Dec 12 : Lower food prices eased India’s November retail inflation rate to 2.33 per cent from 3.38 per cent in the previous month, while higher manufacturing boosted industrial output growth in October to 8.1 per cent, an official data showed on Wednesday, even as India Inc. welcomed the double bonanza for the economy.

On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), or retail inflation, fall was even sharper as compared to 4.88 per cent registered in November 2017.

Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that the Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) deflated further to (-) 2.61 per cent in November from (-) 0.86 per cent in October 2018.

Product-wise, prices of milk-based products, meat and fish rose during the month under review on a YoY basis.

In contrast, deflation in the cost of eggs, vegetables, pulses and sugar helped lower the overall food price index.

On a sub-category basis, vegetable prices reduced on YoY basis in November by (-) 15.59 per cent.

“Pulses and products” became cheaper by (-) 9.22 per cent and that of “sugar and confectionery” by (-) 9.02 per cent.

Food and beverages during the month under consideration recorded a fall of (-) 1.69 per cent over the same period last year.

Among non-food categories, the “fuel and light” segment’s inflation rate accelerated to 7.39 per cent in November.

Higher production in the manufacturing sector, especially of capital goods and consumer durables, accelerated India’s industrial output growth to 8.1 per cent in October from a rise of 4.46 per cent in September and 1.8 per cent during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

“The cumulative growth for the period April-October 2018 over the corresponding period of the previous year stands at 5.6 per cent,” the ‘Quick Estimates’ of IIP released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation showed.

On a YoY (year-on-year) basis, the manufacturing sector’s output expanded at 7.9 per cent, while mining production edged-up by 7 per cent and the sub-index of electricity generation increased by 10.8 per cent.

The output of primary goods, which has the highest weightage of 34.04, grew by 6 per cent. The output of intermediate goods, which has the second highest weightage, inched up by 1.8 per cent.

Similarly, the output of consumer non-durables rose during October by 7.9 per cent, and that of consumer durables by 17.6 per cent.

Infrastructure or construction goods’ output increased by 8.7 per cent and capital goods by 16.8 per cent.

Commenting on the numbers, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said in a statement: “The impressive rise of industrial output, which has bounced back sharply to record a growth of 8.1 per cent in October is noteworthy and augers well for the narrative of economic strengthening, going forward. The uptick in manufacturing growth also shows the second half has started off on a positive note.”

“High double digit growth in capital goods at 16.8 per cent in October 2018 is an indication of strengthening investment demand in the economy. Demand in the economy, especially in rural India, is reviving as consumer durables grew at the rate of 17.6 per cent in the month of October 2018.

“Going ahead, decline in international crude oil prices and stability in rupee scenario is expected to further strengthen the macro-economic environment in the economy,” said PHD Chamber President Rajeev Talwar.

IANS

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