GST exemption limit enhanced to Rs 40 lakh from Rs 20 lakh

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The Ministry of Finance on Monday said that businesses with an annual turnover of upto Rs 40 lakhs are exempt from GST and those with a turnover up to Rs 1.5 crore can opt for the Composition Scheme and pay only one per cent tax.

However, the announcement has failed to impress Kashmir’s business community who are seeking bailout package.

Earlier, the GST exemption limit was Rs 20 lakh, the ministry said.

“Now, Businesses with an annual turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh are GST exempt. Initially, this limit was Rs 20 lakh. Additionally, those with a turnover up to Rs 1.5 crore can opt for the Composition Scheme and pay only 1% tax,” the Ministry of Finance tweeted.

In a series of tweets, the Ministry also informed that significant reliefs have been extended to the construction sector, particularly the housing sector which has been placed at the 5 per cent tax rate.

“Significant relief has been extended to the construction sector, particularly the housing sector. It has now been placed at the 5% rate. GST on affordable housing has been reduced to 1%,” it added.

“Once GST was implemented, the tax rate on a large number of items was brought down. As of now, the 28% rate is almost solely restricted to sin and luxury items. Out of a total of about 230 items in the 28% slab, about 200 items have been shifted to lower slabs,” the Ministry of Finance said in the following tweet.

However, Kashmir’s business community is seeking GST amnesty as well as an overall bailout package to revive the economy of Kashmir which has been left battered and bruised by double lockdown since August 2019.

Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) claimed that the majority of the units in Kashmir have failed to file their annual returns due to the uncertain situation.

President, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad said the chamber will approach the GST council to announce amnesty for the business sector.

“We were supposed to submit our annual return in February, which however, couldn’t happen due to the prevailing situation. As a result of which there has been penalties imposed on us,  so now we will approach the council to give some relaxation to the valley based unit holders,” he said.

Ashiq said that  GST relaxation by Centre will provide a ‘much needed relief’ to the small scale industries, but it is too little given the suffering of the business community in Kashmir.

“Government needs to consider the revival of business in Kashmir, which has suffered a huge blow after August 5 last year,” he said.