Jaitley confident of clearing 'GST hurdles' by July 1

| Updated: Jun 04, 2017 01:29 IST

New Delhi [India], June 3 (ANI): Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday expressed his confidence for the July 1 rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and said that deliberations regarding the pending items and agenda will be taken up during the GST Council's 16th meeting on June 11. "The GST network (GSTN) gave us a detailed presentation on the preparedness so far. We are confident of reaching our target. Any further discussions will be held on Sunday, June 11," he said, while addressing a press conference post the 15th meeting of the GST Council here. Reviewing the minutes of the meeting, Jaitley asserted that a common consensus was achieved on most items after a detailed analysis of the Value Added Tax (VAT) and excise structure. He said that footwear, being one of the major items of discussion in the meeting, will be charged a five percent tax, if less than Rs. 500 and those above this amount will attract an 18 percent tax. "Industries are using the media for inaccurate claims. The fact is that earlier, footwear was categorized under four branches depending on the price. Footwear below Rs. 500 was charged 9.5 percent; between Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000, along with leather footwear attracted 23.1 percent charge, and those above Rs. 1000 were charged 29.58 percent. This has been significantly reduced, giving due consideration to all factors," added Jaitley. Another item given significant concession, according to Jaitley, is textiles. Charge on silk and jute will be nil, cotton and natural fibre will be charged 5 percent, and manmade apparel will be 18 percent. Natural yarn will be charged 5 percent. Also, a 12 percent charge will be levied on readymade apparel. The tax rate on gold, gold jewellery, diamonds and silver has been fixed at 3 percent, while rough diamonds will attract a nominal rate of 0.25 percent. On the food front, packaged food items sold under registered trademarks will attract a five percent charge, while biscuits have been fitted into the 18 percent tax slab, along with mixed edible oil. Pooja items will continue to attract no tax. Geometric boxes, pencils and sports goods have also been fitted to the 12 percent slab, while solar panels have been included under the five percent tax slab. In the agricultural and manufacturing sector, items will be fitted under two tax slabs mainly- five and 12 percent. A 28 percent tax will be levied on beedis, while a 14 percent charge will be imposed on the tendu patta used in beedis. However, no cess is applicable. On the duty transition front, 100 percent duty has been made available on commodities above Rs. 25,000 which bear the brand name and have been numbered under the series by the inventory management. "A credit transfer document will be issued to the manufacturer. If the tax on the item is below 18 percent, 40 percent of the Central or State GST payable will be given as credit. For items with tax above 18 percent, 60 percent will be available as credit," said Revenue Secretary Dr. Hasmukh Adhia during the press briefing. (ANI)