Khadi, puja samagri to get cheaper under GST

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India is to tax gold at a rate of 3 percent under a new nationwide sales tax that comes into effect on July 1, the government said on Saturday.

All yarn will be taxed at 5 per cent, subject to man-made fibres being charged at 18 per cent.

"Beedi and beedi leaf will not attract cess over and above these taxes, but cigarettes will have cess", Jaitley said.

While the marketplaces and sellers are relieved about the increase in input tax credit, the confusion over the taxation structure for returns continues ahead of the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) on July 1.

However, the GST council's decision to impose 0.25 per cent tax on import of rough diamonds has upset the jewellery exporters as they feel that it would reduce their competitiveness in the global market since many of them are already operating on thin margins.

While the tax on branded apparels (textiles) is not known, a revenue neutral rate for apparel industry would be 12-15 per cent, the report by CARE Ratings said.

"Currently, the industry pays taxes around 2 to 2.5 per cent, so the 3 per cent GST on gold will not have any major impact".

GST, which will subsume 16 different levies, will be rolled out from July 1.

In the textiles category, blankets and travelling rugs, curtains, bed linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen, of terry towelling or similar terry fabrics costing below Rs 1,000 will attract a 5 per cent tax.

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As for the transition rules approved by Council, the industry had been demanding some relaxation of the provision of deemed credit.

It also announced dual rates for footwear and textiles to ensure that the common people are not impacted by higher taxes under the new regime.

"We are quite confident of being able to stick to the target date (of July 1)", he said. For tax rate below 18 per cent, it will be retained at 40 per cent.

Mr Jaitley said the GST Council will meet again on June 11 and review the rates based on industry representations in case the fitment committee finds that there is a substantial increase from the present burden. In fact, this move will encourage the industry to become more organized, and help GJF to take them towards the path of accountability and transparency.

Also, the company developing the technology backbone for GST - GST Network- made a detailed presentation on the amount of work done and IT preparedness.

Prices of foodgrains, especially wheat and rice, has been exempt from GST.

Meanwhile, World Gold Council managing director, India, Somasundaram PR said GST is the single biggest indirect tax reform in India and is meant to bring transparency, increase tax compliance and improve transaction traceability.

The exporters were also concerned about the service tax fixed for job working units at 18 per cent where more than 80 per cent of garment exporting units in Tirupur cluster are carrying out the job working activities, he said and sought to exempt the the job working units in payment of Service Tax.

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