Karnataka Tax and economic reforms

Karnataka Tax and economic reforms

Karnataka Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017

The ‘Karnataka Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017’ was unanimously passed by the state assembly. Before Karnataka, as many as 24 states and Union Territories had passed the State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) bill in their respective legislative assemblies. As per the GST Constitutional amendment, all states have to pass SGST bills by September 15, 2017, failing which they will lose their taxation powers.

What is GST?

Good and Services Tax Bill is a new taxation bill passed by RajyaSabha in August 2016 aims at making a single tax system for entire nation, replacing all indirect taxes imposed by State and Central Government. It is expected as a biggest tax reform in the history of India, simplifying all the complex indirect tax levying process. GST will have distinct impact on individual sectors, some will get negative or some will get positive.

Let’s have a look at several advantages of new GST Bill for Government and Indian Nationals:-

  1. GST is a win-win situation for the entire country. It brings benefits to all the stakeholders of industry, government and the consumer. It will lower the cost of goods and services, give a boost to the economy and make the products and services globally competitive. GST aims to make India a common market with common tax rates and procedures and remove the economic barriers, thus paving the way for an integrated economy at the national level.

By subsuming most of the Central and State taxes into a single tax and by allowing a set-off of prior-stage taxes for the transactions across the entire value chain, it would mitigate the ill effects of cascading, improve competitiveness and improve liquidity of the businesses. GST is a destination-based tax. It follows a multi-stage collection mechanism. In this, tax is collected at every stage and the credit of tax paid at the previous stage is available as a set off at the next stage of transaction. This shifts the tax incidence near to the consumer and benefits the industry through better cash flows and better working capital management.

  1. GST is largely technology driven. It will reduce the human interface to a great extent and this would lead to speedy decisions.
  2. GST will give a major boost to the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government of India by making goods and services produced in India competitive in the National as well as International market. Also all imported goods will be charged integrated tax (IGST) which is equivalent to Central GST + State GST. This will bring equality with taxation on local products.
  3. Under the GST regime, exports will be zero-rated in entirety unlike the present system where refund of some taxes may not take place due to fragmented nature of indirect taxes between the Centre and the States. This will boost Indian exports in the international market thus improving the balance of payments position. Exporters with clean track record will be rewarded by getting immediate refund of 90% of their claims arising on account of exports, within seven days.
  4. GST is expected to bring buoyancy to the Government Revenue by widening the tax base and improving the taxpayer compliance. GST is likely improve India’s ranking in the Ease of Doing Business Index and is estimated to increase the GDP growth by 1.5 to 2%.Karnataka Tax and economic reforms,
  5. GST will bring more transparency to indirect tax laws. Since the whole supply chain will be taxed at every stage with credit of taxes paid at the previous stage being available for set off at the next stage of supply, the economics and tax value of supplies will be easily distinguishable. This will help the industry to take credit and the government to verify the correctness of taxes paid and the consumer to know the exact amount of taxes paid.
  6. The taxpayers would not be required to maintain records and show compliance with a myriad of indirect tax laws of the Central Government and the State Governments like Central Excise, Service Tax, VAT, Central Sales Tax, Octroi, Entry Tax, Luxury Tax, Entertainment Tax, etc. They would only need to maintain records and show compliance in respect of Central Goods and Services Tax Act and State (or Union Territory) Goods and Services Tax Act for all intra-State supplies (which are almost identical laws) and with Integrated Goods and Services Tax for all inter-State supplies (which also has most of its basic features derived from the CGST and the SGST Act).


What is Demonetization?

  • It is a financial step where in a currency unit’s status as a legal tender is declared invalid.
  • This is usually done when old currency notes are to be replaced with the news ones.
  • The 500 and 1000 rupee notes seized to be a legal tenderfrom 8 November, 2016.

A brief past

  • Demonetisation was earlier done in 1978 When the government demonetised Rs. 1000, Rs. 5000 and Rs. 10000 notes.
  • This was done under the High Denomination Bank Note (Demonetisation) Act, 1978.
  • The difference between 1978 and 2016 Demonetisation is that the currency in circulation (of the higher denomination) is higher in 2016 than was in 1978.
  • The current demonitization has been done by government under section 26(2) of the Reserve Bank of India Act.


Implications of Demonetization

  • A parallel black economy would collapse.
  • Of the Rs 17 lakh crore of total currency in circulation in the country, black money is estimated at mind-boggling Rs 3 lakh crore.
  • Counterfeit currency: Death blow to the counterfeit Indian currency syndicate operating both inside and outside the country.
  • On Employment: a large part of the Indian economy is still outside the banking system. So, the cash shortage will hurt the informal sector that does most of its transactions in cash.
  • On elections: It will reduce the Vote-for-Note politics making elections more clean and transparent.
  • On Economy:
  • First, it will bring more borrowings to the exchequer, improve inflation outlook and increase India’s gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Second, it will revive investment opportunities and give a fillip to infrastructure and the manufacturing sector.
  • Third, it will help reduce interest rates and lower income tax rate.
  • Real estate cleansing: An unexpected dip in land and property prices.
  • On Higher Education: will become more reachable as the black money from ‘high capitation fees’ is discouraged.
  • On security:
  • Terror financing: Terror financing is sourced through counterfeit currency and hawala transactions.
  • Kashmir unrest: The four-month-long unrest in Kashmir valley is on a backburner
  • North-East insurgency and Maoists: Black money is the oxygen for Maoists collected through donations, levy and extortions. The illicit money is used to purchase arms and ammunition

Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy 2017:

The Karnataka government on approved ‘Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy 2017’ to help the state become a hub for production of alternative fuel vehicles, reduce dependency on fossil fuels, bring down pollution levels and push the ‘Make In Karnataka’ initiative.

The new policy aims to attract investments worth Rs31,000crore and create around 55,000 employment opportunities.

“The development and formation of this path breaking policy has been a combined effort of the government and key industry players through roundtables organised by Carnegie India and a series of workshops.

The state government is looking to set up new EV manufacturing zones, set up charging stations in public and private spaces including airports, railway stations, metro stations and encourage start-ups to develop business models focused on supporting economic applications for EV’s.

The government is also mooting incentives and concessions for manufacturers in line with the Industrial Policy 2014-19 throughout the state including Bengaluru district.

The fifth largest automobile market currently, India is inching towards become the third largest market by 2020. The union government has also unveiled its vision to make the country an all-electric vehicle market by 2031 to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and reduce its carbon footprint.

Karnataka govt announces incentives for manufacturing MSMEs in its Electric Vehicle Policy 2017:

In the recently approved Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy 2017, the Karnataka Government has announced a set of incentives and concessions for different sectors including the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

According to the policy, the government will extend incentives and concessions to the MSMEs involved in the manufacturing of electric vehicle and its components including motors power trains, power electronic kits.

The micro level units can avail an investment promotion subsidy of over 25 per cent of the value of fixed assets, for a maximum amount of 15 lakh rupees.

Accordingly, the Small enterprises will be given an investment promotion subsidy of over 20 per cent of the value of fixed assets, for a maximum amount of 40 lakh rupees.

The medium manufacturing enterprises, according to the policy, will be given a subsidy of 50 lakh rupees on the investments.

Apart from the subsidy, the government also announced exemption from stamp duty for the MSMEs.

To encourage the involvement in the sector, the government has further announced concessional registration charges on all loan documents, lease deeds as well as sale deeds.

Also the MSMEs can avail a capital subsidy up to 50 per cent of the cost of setting up of Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP), with a cap of 50 lakh rupees.  The government will also be providing 100 per cent exemption on tax on the electricity tariff for the initial period of five years for the MSMEs.


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