Nation
India Inc welcomes GST Bill with a few concerns
As the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday finally took up discussion on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley moving it for consideration and passage, industry stakeholders welcomed the move but also expressed some concerns.
 
Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram batted for 18 per cent GST rate during the debate.
 
Here are the voices of the industry stakeholders:
 
* Harshvardhan Neotia, President, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry:
 
GST is one of the most awaited reform measures by the industry. It is heartening to see that there is consensus emerging in passage of crucial GST bill. It is noteworthy that the principal opposition party has played a constructive role by articulating some of the concerns which have been noted by the government and would help form base of a robust GST framework for India.
 
* Mahesh Gupta, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry:
 
Make in India programme would also get a boost with improvement in ease of doing business by doing away with multiplicity of taxes and their cascading impact. GST will enhance production possibilities, attract foreign direct investments and increase employment opportunities in the economy.
 
* Anshul Jain, Managing Director, India, Cushman & Wakefield:
 
The clearance of the Goods and services tax (GST) Bill in the Rajya Sabha is a laudable step that would remove cascading taxes and make India's manufacturing sector more competitive.
 
* Anuj Puri, Chairman and Country Head, JLL India:
 
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is the most radical taxation reform that is set to alter India's economic prospects. A single indirect tax, encompassing all goods and services, is surely a welcome change. GST is built into the value-added structure that would eliminate the cascading effect of taxes and is expected to boost tax collection by making compliance easy for retailers and other businesses as also reduce overall taxation levels.
 
* Ashish Goel, CEO and Co-founder at Urban Ladder:
 
Introduction of GST will be a huge step by the government in backing it's promise of ease of doing business. As a consumer e-commerce brand, our focus is on building a seamless supply chain and logistics network that helps us fulfil customer orders in different parts of the country. GST will help create a single unified market across India and allow free movement and supply of goods in every part of the country.
 
* Anshuman Magazine, Chairman, CBRE - India and South East Asia:
 
This is a major tax reform for our economy, which will transform India into a single market. The passage of this Bill is likely to positively impact the real estate sector, which has linkages with over 250 ancillary industries. Unified taxation will also infuse the much needed transparency into our taxation system.
 
* Internet and Mobile Association of India:
 
The Internet and digital industry has been looking forward to the implementation of GST as the ‘one tax, one market' principle of GST is in accordance with the industry's ‘one country, one market' business model. GST is expected to help ease of doing business and promote free-play for market dynamics allowing deeper penetration of digital services. 
 
* Nitin Kunkolienker, Vice President, Manufacturers' Association of Information Technology:
 
The IT-electronics industry at large welcomes the proposed move to the GST regime, as the same would herald a new beginning in the indirect taxation landscape of modern India, paving the way for a simplified and homogenous tax structure for goods and services.
 
* Deepak Garg, Founder, Rivigo:
 
The ensuing GST regime will make India a unified market that will facilitate smooth movement of goods and eliminate numerous border hurdles at different points for surface logistics service providers. Currently, Indian inventory spend (losses, obsolescence, wastage) can be up to 50-60 per cent of the overall logistics spend. Seamless movement of goods across the country could mean this lost inventory spend being available to deploy in productive value creation to further propel economy's growth. 
 
* A.K. Rastogi, GM Finance, Nippon Audiotronix:
 
GST will be positive for the automotive sector primarily because of the removal of cascading effect of tax on the cost of goods and services that is expected with GST. Currently most of car manufactures are located in few of the states in India.
 
* PropTiger:
 
With the uniform tax, developers will have free input credits on GST paid for services and goods purchased by them which will reduce cost for them and can be passed as reduction to buyers. For commercial property, GST will reduce taxation as developers will be able to get input credit of GST paid for construction services against the GST charged on lease rentals.
 
* Navin Gupta, Founder & CEO, Autoload:
 
GST will be a game changer for logistics start-ups like Autoload. There will be a shift from traditional inefficient way of undertaking transportation to transparent and efficient platforms like us. This transparency and efficiency will reduce costs and increase visibility.
 
Anil Yendluri, Director & CEO, Krishnapatnam Port:
 
As a port operator, we welcome the implementation of GST as there would be tremendous reduction in the overall transportation and logistics costs. This translates to lower transit time and high rail-road utilisation by way of seamless inter-state movement of goods.
 
* Manish Sharma, President, CEAMA India:
 
GST Bill ushers in a sentiment of positivity in the consumer electronics industry and is a further step towards increasing the ease of doing business in the sector. Moreover, it unites India into one economic entity making it a common market place thus, making our cost of production and competitiveness far more effective. GST will further contribute to the economic growth by uplifting the overall stature of local manufacturing by cutting down the logistical and transactional costs.
 
* Sunil D'Souza, Managing Director, Whirlpool of India:
 
"We believe that GST is a welcome move as it will not just help in removing economic distortions but will also build transparency. The consumer will be the beneficiary as it will help drive consumption and simultaneously fuel growth for the consumer durables sector. The GST will help the industry in optimising warehousing and inventory carrying costs."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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Rajya Sabha shows rare camaraderie over GST
As the Goods and Services Tax Bill got the parliamentary nod to end a stalemate that lasted almost 10 years, the Rajya Sabha saw a rare camaraderie and unanimity when all members present voted in favour of the statute.
 
After the AIADMK walkout, the only party which opposed the bill, voting for The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Second Amendment) Bill, 2014, and the amendments introduced by the government saw not a single vote against the proposed law.
 
Interestingly, the number of votes in the affirmative kept changing as Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien put the different clauses, and finally the bill, to vote, with some opposition members even raising concern as to how the numbers changed after lobbies were cleared.
 
The votes in affirmative ranged from 197 to 205, and not one in opposition, except for one clause when nine members from the ruling benches voted in negative, much to the amusement of opposition members. 
 
The members, however, soon after asked for chits to correct their mistake. 
 
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Minister of State for Commerce (Independent Charge) Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi rushed to instruct them on how to vote correctly.
 
When it was time for voting on the next clause, a voice from the opposition benches emerged saying "press the green button".
 
Clearing the lobby is a routine act before a division, or when voting on the bill is sought. After this, the gates of the house are shut, and all members are in their seats from where the voting buttons are used.
 
While Kurien clarified that the votes were subject to correction, he also joked: "There is a magician in the house."
 
An official from the Rajya Sabha later told IANS that some votes may not get recorded as some particular members may have stopped pressing the button before the voting time was over.
 
As per procedures, every member has to press a red button at their seat along with the yes/no/abstain button for 10 seconds. Vote is recorded only from the button which is pressed at the end of the 10 seconds.
 
A consensus had long been eluding the bill, which was first announced by the then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in his budget speech for 2006-07.
 
Chidambaram, recently elected to the Rajya Sabha, started the debate on the bill on Wednesday, as members from the ruling and opposition parties noted that he was speaking from the opposition benches in the upper house for the first time.
 
The former minister also joked that it was his maiden speech, to which Kurien remarked he would still get only 15 minutes. Chidambaram's speech, however, lasted around half an hour.
 
Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury even remarked that Chidambaram, his "old friend", sounded "much better from the other side".
 
The Congress leader, meanwhile, out of habit, even called the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as "leader of opposition", and was corrected by one of his colleagues.
 
Anticipating delay in the proceedings, the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry had arranged a dinner for the MPs, journalists and Parliament staff on the occasion.
 
However, as the debate reached its fag end around 7.30 p.m., members preferred to stay in the house. When the voting was finally over after 9.40 p.m., a remark was heard from members on how "hungry" they were.
 
After the bill's passage, Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar were seen walking to the opposition side, and shaking hands with Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
 
As the upper house was adjourned, ruling and opposition party members could be seen walking out together, smiling for the media's cameras after the "historic moment" that leads to one of the biggest tax reforms in the country.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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US Fed penalises Goldman Sachs for use of confidential supervisory information
The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday ordered Goldman Sachs to pay $36.3 million of civil money penalty for its unauthorised use and disclosure of confidential supervisory information.
 
The Fed was also seeking to impose a fine on a former Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, Joseph Jiampietro, and permanently bar him from the banking industry for his and his subordinates' unauthorised use and disclosure of confidential supervisory information, said the Fed in a statement.
 
The Fed said that Goldman Sachs used the central bank's confidential supervisory information in presentations to its clients in order to solicit business.
 
The order required Goldman Sachs to implement an enhanced programme to ensure the proper use of confidential supervisory information, and prohibited the investment bank from re-employing individuals involved in the improper disclosure of such information.
 
In 2015, the Fed permanently barred a former Goldman Sachs employee from the banking industry following his guilty plea for the theft of confidential supervisory information.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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