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Central excise officials flag GST loopholes
Senior officials of the central excise department have prepared a report on the major loopholes in the proposed GST Act as sought by the union government to fine-tune and improve the law. The report would be submitted to the ministry concerned. “We have raised some key points and specific areas of concerns which need to be looked into,” said a senior tax official of the central excise department.

Source: The Business Standard dated 11 October 2016

Commerce Ministry wants exemptions for exporters to continue under GST
The Commerce Ministry has suggested to its finance counterpart that the exemptions given to exporters should continue under the new indirect tax regime. The proposed procedure of paying taxes and then claiming refunds by exporters under GST would cause hardships for them, said an official. A substantial amount of working capital would be locked in the process of paying duties and then taking refunds, he explained. The Ministry also wants the distinction between the domestic tariff area and special economic zones to be maintained under the new regime.

Source: The Business Standard dated 9 October 2016

West Bengal Assembly likely to discuss GST Bill in November
The West Bengal Assembly is likely to take up the GST Bill for discussion in the first week of November, according to government sources. Previously, a two-day special session of the Assembly had been planned for 26 August to discuss the GST Bill, along with the proposal to rename West Bengal to Bengal. But while the renaming was discussed and passed, the GST Bill was not introduced in the Assembly. A government source stated, “The TMC government has maintained that they will ratify the GST Bill. In fact, Amit Mitra is still very much involved in the process and West Bengal is likely to ratify the Bill in November.”

Source: The Indian Express dated 7 October 2016

Non-taxing GST apps will soon be made by companies
In a bid to give taxpayers more choice to file their returns once the much-awaited tax reform is rolled out, the GST Network (GSTN) is inviting private companies to build third-party interfaces. Open for technology, accounting and financial services firms; it will allow businesses to file taxes from various platforms such as mobile apps or portals instead of applying only through the GSTN portal. According to a top official of the agency which is building the technology backbone for this reform, the idea is to fuel 'innovation' and have multiple solutions for different sectors such as FMCG or manufacturing as they may have different needs and also for corporations of different size.

Source: The Economic Times dated 7 October 2016

Government plans an overhaul of tax administration for smooth GST rollout
The government has readied plans for a major change in India’s tax administration structure including the overhaul of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) to ensure a glitch-free rollout of a
nation-wide (GST). The plan includes the set up of empowered GST commissionerates within the CBEC that will be tasked with administering the new tax system.

Source: Moneycontrol dated 6 October 2016

Revenue department to hire agencies to train industry on GST
With less than six months left for the GST rollout, the Revenue department has decided to hire professional bodies to impart training to the industry and stakeholders on the new indirect tax regime. The government plans to roll-out the GST regime from April next year. The training for stakeholders would be in addition to the exercise for 60,000 revenue officials.

Source: The Business Standard dated 5 October 2016

Did you know?
The CBEC (Central Board Of Excise and Customs) has released a 268 page ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ (FAQ booklet), answering over 500 questions on 24 topics which provide clarity on the Draft Model GST Law, including registration, valuation, payment scope time of supply refunds, seizure and attest.
Under the chapter relating to 'Meaning and Scope of supply', clarity has been provided regarding the taxability of self-supplies under GST wherein the following is stated:

“Inter-state self-supplies such as stock transfers will be taxable under GST, as a taxable person has to take state-wise registration in terms of schedule 1(5). Further, such transactions are taxable even if there is no consideration. However, there will be no tax on intra-state self-supplies.”
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