From GST registration small traders to be exempted

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Small traders supplying goods to e-commerce firms like Flipkart and Myntra may get GST compliance relief as the Centre is planning to exempt them from mandatory registration.

The facility may also be extended to micro firms that make inter-state supply. But in both the cases annual turnover of companies should not exceed Rs 20 lakh.

Section 24 of the CGST Act requires companies with below Rs 20 lakh annual turnover to register in the new indirect tax system. But there are certain categories, including suppliers to e-commerce firms, that need to register even as their annual sales is below this limit.

“We have received about 80-90 suggestions from states and other stakeholders to make the GST regime more friendly for the SME sector. Of this, 12-15 have been short-listed and would be taken up for consideration. One of them is to exempt small businesses selling through e-commerce platforms from GST registration in case their annual turnover is below Rs 20 lakh,” an official said.

Among other suggestion are exempting firms with annual turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore from paying GST as was the case in the previous excise regime and reducing rates on raw materials or inputs.

“Small firms with annual turnover of up to Rs 5 crore should be out of the GST ambit. We also demand more time for depositing tax. From one month it should be made a quarter,” said Chandrakant Salunkhe, founder, and president of the SME Chamber of India.

Finance minister Piyush Goyal and his state counterparts this month decided to hold a meeting of GST Council to focus exclusively on the SME sector. Following this, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs asked its field officers to prepare the list of grievances and suggestions of small businesses, which could be taken up at the August 4 meeting of the council.

The demonetization-hit SME sector has been facing various challenges in the GST regime. While earlier it battled paucity of capital and sluggish demand, GST put substantial compliance burden on the sector, which is the biggest job provider.

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