Government doubles import duty on 328 textile items to 20 per cent

Source: The Economic Times, Aug 07, 2018

NEW DELHI: The government today doubled import duty on as many as 328 textile products to 20 per cent to provide a boost to manufacturing of these items in the country.

A notification to this effect was tabled by Minister of State for Finance Pon Radhakrishnan in the Lok Sabha. The notification said it seeks to “increase customs duty on 328 tariff lines of textile products from the existing rate of 10 per cent to 20 per cent…under Section 159 of the Customs Act, 1962”.

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No GST refunds for foreigners as of now as there is no provision: FinMin

Source: Business Standard, Aug 06, 2018

New Delhi: Foreigners coming to India may not get GST refunds on goods purchased and carried back by them as the government has not invoked relevant provisions of the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Act yet, the Finance Ministry has said in reply to an RTI query.

It was asked to provide details on procedures for foreigners to get GST refunds on goods purchased by them in India.Some western nations provide refunds of certain taxes on goods purchased by foreigners there.

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One-time settlement of VAT, excise disputes in the works

Source: The Economic Times, Aug 02, 2018

NEW DELHI: India could consider offering a one-time settlement to clear legacy central excise duty and value added tax (VAT) issues to ensure they do not linger and act as a drag in the goods and services tax regime. The GST Council, the apex decision-making body for the tax, will take up the proposal at a meeting on August 4.

The scheme, if approved, would allow officials to focus on GST compliance instead of dealing with legacy issues and could also generate instant one-time revenue for the government. “It would clean the slate,” said an official privy to the proposal. Read the rest of this entry »

Proposed returns process to simplify GST regime, bring relief to taxpayers

Source: Business Standard, Jul 31, 2018

New Delhi: Life will be a bit easier for businesses and professionals under the goods and services tax (GST) regime if the proposed simplified returns are put in place six months down the line.The number of returns to be filed will be much reduced compared to that in the existing scheme.

However, assessees will have to continuously upload invoices and keep track of matching purchase receipts with those of sales to claim input tax credit. This, many say, will be burdensome for taxpayers because currently they self-certify the credit claims.

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New anti-graft law comes into force; bribe givers to get 7-year jail

Source: The Economic Times, Jul 31, 2018

NEW DELHI: Bribe givers can now be punished with a jail term of maximum of seven years under a new anti-corruption law that has got assent from President Ram Nath Kovind.

Besides, public servants — politicians, bureaucrats and bankers among others — have also been given a ‘shield’ from prosecution in the legislation that makes it mandatory for investigating agencies such as the CBI to take prior approval from a competent authority before conducting any enquiry against them. The president gave approval to the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 1988, recently, an official order said.

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Draft ecommerce policy champions India first

download.jpgSource: The Economic Times, Jul 31, 2018

NEW DELHI: The government’s draft ecommerce policy makes a strong case for championing ‘Indian’ online enterprise and may have major implications for foreign-owned ecommerce majors operating in India.

Key recommendations include barring group companies of ecommerce players from “directly or indirectly influencing” sale prices. This may mean restrictions on retail strategies of ecommerce majors with subsidiaries.

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Branches, project offices of foreign companies exempt from GST

download.jpgSource: The Economic Times, Jul 23, 2018

NEW DELHI: In a move that brings relief to banking, insurance, infrastructure, IT and ITeS sectors, the GST Council has decided to exempt branches and project offices of foreign companies in India from goods and services tax (GST).

A notification will be issued shortly, said a person familiar with the development. Industry bodies, including Indian Bank Association, had represented to the government as well as the GST Council on the issue, which was hurting most banks that have branch offices overseas and foreign infrastructure companies that typically implement projects through project offices.

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