The new financial year has started on a positive note, despite the protectionist measures of America and retaliation by China.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said economic activity is expected to gather pace in 2018-19, benefiting from a conducive domestic and global environment. The teething trouble in implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is receding, credit offtake has improved, large resource mobilisation from the primary market could strengthen investment activity and the process of recapitalisation of public sector banks and resolution of distressed assets might improve the business and investment environment. Global trade growth has accelerated, which should encourage export, and the thrust on rural and infrastructure sectors could rejuvenate rural demand and also crowd-in private investment, says RBI.
The rollout of e-way bills under the GST for inter-state supplies has been smooth. The GST Network enabled generation of e-way bills without much difficulty. The government had also revised the rules in time and issued many useful clarifications. Around 1.7 million e-way bills were generated in the first three days, Gujarat generating the highest number.
The government has cleared a little over 80 per cent of the refund claims filed till end-January, pertaining to tax paid on export of goods or services and unutilised input tax credit. The rest will be cleared soon, it says.
Taxpayers who could not complete the process of filing of TRAN-1 by the due date, due to information technology (IT) glitches, would be allowed to complete the process by April 30. The completion of filing GSTR-3B shall be completed by May 31. The last date for filing of TRAN-1 is not being extended in general and only those identified in terms of the circular issued in this regard shall be allowed to complete the process of filing.
The Finance Act was enacted on March 29. With that, 31 amendments to the Customs Act took effect. The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) will now be known as Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).
The Government has put in place an IT-related grievance redressal mechanism to address the difficulties faced by taxpayers from technical glitches on the GST portal. Taxpayers are to apply to field officers or nodal officers where there was a demonstrable glitch on the common portal in an identified issue, due to which the due process as envisaged in law could not be completed.
The redressal committee shall examine and approve the solutions as may be necessary.
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade has a new monitoring mechanism for advance authorisations and export promotion capital goods authorisations. Exporters can look at the status of the export obligation discharge certificate and take action.
Hopefully, the economy will gather momentum and do better during the year.