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Uniform VAT rates, SMEs seek GST implementation
February, 05th 2011

IIA an apex body of Micro, small and medium enterprises has sought GST implementation and uniform VAT rates across all states.

Here are the key demands:

Government proposes to introduce GST in the country as a single tax thereby replacing a whole lot of direct/indirect levies e.g. Centvat, Service Tax, VAT etc. Undoubtedly GST is very progressive mode of taxation and is being successfully run in lot of developed and developing economies.

Since introduction of GST would be a major change in the system of levying/collection of tax, it is suggested that before implementing GST enough thought should be given and the concerns of MSME about its impact on them considered appropriately to avoid unwarranted hardship. This can be achieved by an effective dialogue and/or white paper on the proposed system and its modalities which should be discussed with various industry associations representing MSME sector.

CST should be brought down to 1%.

VAT Rates in all commodities across all States should be uniform
In the white paper on VAT published by Empowered Committee on state level value added tax it was decided that: "all other existing taxes such as Turn over tax, Surcharge, Additional Surcharge and Special addition tax (SAT) would be abolished. There will not be any reference to these taxes in the VAT bills. The states that have already introduced entry tax and intend to continue with this tax should make it vat able. Entry tax will need to be abolished. However this will not apply to entry tax that may be levied in lieu of octroi", Further it was decided "there will be only two basic VAT rates of 4% and 12.5%, plus a specific category of tax exempted goods and a special VAT rate of 1% only for gold and silver ornaments etc."

States are not following these basic principles. It is suggested that the states should be restrained from levying any additional tax in addition to VAT and the rates across the country be not increased from the rates as prescribed by the Empowered Committee.

Any amendment having effect on taxability of goods should not be made retrospectively. Further it should not be made applicable from the mid of the month. Notifications issued should give at least 15 days time to dealer to have his system updated.

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