First 100 days of GST: The big shake up
The goods and services tax (GST) saw manufacturers slow down production in the preceding months, pulling down economic growth in the first quarter of this fiscal to a three-year low of 5.7%. Growth picked up in the second quarter as firms restocked their supply chain. Businesses struggled to file returns on time in August, prompting deadline extensions. GST Council raised taxes on cars and tobacco, lowered rates on many mass use items and gave relief to small companies and exporters.
1 July: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former President Pranab Mukherjee launch GST from the Central Hall of Parliament.
The first day of GST witnesses a blackout in sales of consumer durables such as cars and refrigerators.
5 August: GST Council lowers tax rates on a few services.
17 August: Government extends deadline for filing returns for July to 28 August in cases where a rebate for tax paid in the previous regime is claimed.
19 August: GST implementation committee extends deadline for filing of returns and to pay taxes for July sales from 20 August to 25 August.
31 August: Finance minister Arun Jaitley indicates number of GST slabs could be pruned in future.
3 September: President Ram Nath Kovind promulgates ordinance enabling increase in GST cess on motor vehicles including medium-sized cars, large cars and SUVs from 15% to 25%.
4 September: GST Council extends deadline for filing detailed tax returns for July sales.
9 September: GST Council raises cess on medium to large cars and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) in the range of 2-7 percentage points.
15 September: Central Board of Excise and Customs orders verification of large tax credit claims.
6 October: GST Council cuts tax rates on 27 items; allows duty-free import of goods for export production under two pre-GST era schemes; small taxpayers with up to Rs1.5 crore sales allowed to file detailed tax returns and pay taxes on a quarterly basis. Composition scheme threshold raised to Rs1 crore from Rs75 lakh for most states. Small tax payers up to Rs1.5 crore of sales exempted from paying GST on advances received.
GST@200 days: A work in progress
Policymakers strive to ease the compliance burden of small firms and give relief to the common man by way of massive tax cuts. The move affects government’s revenue receipts. Worried about profiteering, authorities cut tax on restaurants and probed a few companies.
16 October: A panel set up by GST Council decides to do away with a distinction between airconditioned and non-airconditioned restaurants.
26 October: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says GST will eventually lead to lower prices, benefiting the poor and the middle class.
10 November: GST Council announces across-the-board tax cuts. Close to 180 items moved from the 28% to 18% tax slab. Rate on restaurants slashed to 5% for all restaurants from 12% for non-AC and 18% for AC restaurants. Restaurants in five-star hotels remain in 18% slab with tax credits.
28 November: Government names B.N. Sharma chairman of the National Anti-Profiteering Authority.
16 December: GST Council decides to make e-way bills compulsory for inter-state movement of goods from 1 February.
30 December: Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS) launches investigation into Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt.Ltd, Lifestyle International Pvt. Ltd and Sharma Trading Co. for allegedly not passing on benefits of tax cuts to consumers.