The GJEPC last week held a webinar on GST in association with Directorate General of Taxpayer Services (DGTS), Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), Ministry of Finance.
Attended by more than 268 participants from India, the US, UK and Singapore, the interactive session revisited the GST provisions for the gems and jewellery sector, and addressed challenges faced by the industry pertaining to GST implementation and norms/procedures.
The distinguished panel included Smt. B.V. Siva Naga Kumari, DG, DGTS,CBIC, Delhi; Shri. Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC; Shri. Upender Gupta, Pr., ADG; Dr. Rajesh Kumar Verma, ADG, DGTS, MZU & AZU; Smt. Amita Singh, ADG; and Advocate Kinchit Shah, Associate, HVS.
The vote of thanks was given by Shri. Manish Jivani, Convener, MSME Sub-committee, GJEPC; and the session was moderated by Shri. Jitendra Patel, Deputy Director, DGTS, MZU, Mumbai.
In her inaugural speech, Smt. Kumari said the focus of such outreach programmes is to improve taxpayer services, disseminate information, and educate taxpayers about their privileges and duties for GST and Customs and grievance redressal.
Shri. Colin Shah took up important issues like DDA sales to be considered as exports, refund on exports, ITC matching, rate of certification and grading services, and inward duty structure among others.
Some of the reforms suggested were:
- Reducing the amount of time required in filing returns.
- Small committee of DG office and trade could be formed to address specific issues on returns.
- IT system for GST could be made more robust for easier filing of returns.
- Invoice matching between input and output continues to be a challenge which needs to be resolved.
- Suitable clarification on DDA (Diamond Dollar Account) is needed. DDA sales should be treated by the GST Department as exports as Income Tax, Customs, Banks treat it as deemed exports. A special scheme needs to be carved out for the same.
- Sectoral data of Gem and Industry of GST collected and input credit pending should be provided to help industry to be more compliant and understand its standing.
- Substantial amount of input credit is lying due to delay in refunds which needs to be settled and a standard format for declaration is needed.
- Rates for certification and grading services need to be reduced.
Shri. Colin Shah said, “GST is the biggest tax reform the country has seen after independence and the gem and jewellery industry welcomes the government reform initiative to encourage ease of doing business.”
Among the GJEPC’s key achievements mentioned were the GST rate reduction on job work services to process rough diamonds into cut and polished, from 5% to 1.5%; and the GST rate reduction on rough diamonds (industrial), cut and polished diamonds and cut and polished semi-precious stones from 3% to 0.25%
The key initiatives during the pandemic included relaxations in the form of interest and late fee waiver/concession concerning GST compliances; extension of timelines for filing various returns; extension of application of Rule 36(4) of the CGST Rules related to restriction on ITC availment owing to vendor mismatches; extension of statutory timelines with regard to filing of appeals, replies, refund applications; and special GST Refund Disposal Drive for the implementation of decision to expedite pending GST and IGST refund claims.