GST Rate to be reviewed by GST Council

The GST Council is scheduled to meet on 18th December to review GST rates.

This is necessitated by the consistent fall in both the GST and Compensation Cess collections.

Also the States, particularly opposition ruled States have been applying pressure on the Centre to release GST payments immediately as Rs 50,000 cr cess lies unutilised.

This GST review more specifically covers exempted items, items with inverted rates, compensation cess rate. This may lead to GST rates on certain items being raised. 


Central Excise & Service tax Amnesty Scheme

  1. 1. Chapter V of the FA 2019 (full text of SVLDR Scheme)
  2. 2. SVLDR Rules
  3. 3. SVLDR Notification No 4/2019
  4. 4. CBIC Circulars dated 28.08.2019 and 25.09.2019
  5. 5. FAQs on SVLDR
  6. 6. SVLDR Departmental presentation
GST Optimisation Part 2

This is the 2nd Part of the set of videos on “GST Optimisation”. It explains how indirect tax cascading still continues in India even after implementing GST. The video covers specific situations in which tax cascading happens. This video is meant for the general public and not exactly the tax experts. So the language is simpler devoid of sections, rules, technical expressions and tax jargon.

GST Optimisation Part 1

This is the first part of a three part video set on Tax Optimisation, more specifically GST Optimisation. Its created for those who are not too familiar with taxation and yet keen to understand and benefit by optimising on taxes. This can be useful for people handling indirect taxation too as the aim of these videos is to conceptually clarify the subject.

"The Indian GST Story" by Anthony Fernandes - Founder of Tax Quotient

1st June 2019




Recent Court / Tribunal Judgements

 CESTAT Decisions


18th October, 2018 : CESTAT Mum : UPS Jetair Express Private Limited   Vs Commissioner of CGST, Mumbai East 

Revenue denied CENVAT credit only on the ground invoices didn't mention the registration number of the service provider. No other allegations were made regarding receipt of input services, eligibility etc.

Held : This is merely a procedural lapse. It is settled that CENVAT credit can't be denied on mere technicalities or procedural lapses.

CENVAT credit allowed, extended period of limitation not applicable.

Ed's comment : Isnt it surprising that a Senior Officer like Prin. ADG, DGPM, WRU, still needs to catch up with decades old case law regarding Modvat and Cenvat? It's repeatedly held procedural lapses aren't reason enough to deny credit. How will the dept reduce litigation? Should Tribunal for fairness?

18th October, 2018 : CESTAT Ahd : M/s Auto Care Lubricant Vs C.C.E. & S.T.-Vapi
The Tribunal relying on an earlier decision in Castrol India Ltd, held :
“The authorities under the Standards of Weights and Measures Act are the best judge to decide as to whether a product is required to be affixed with a MRP under the said Act or not. If said authority has clarified that 210 ltr. barrel are not required to be affixed with MRP, it was obligatory on the part of the Excise authority to accept such decision of Controller of Legal Metrology authority….., it was not open to the Excise authority to doubt the decision of the authority under Standards of Weights and Measures Act and to proceed independently ….”

18th October 2018 : CESTAT Ahd : M/s Javiya Finance Services, Javiya Marketing Vs C.C.E.& S.T.- Surat-I
The appellant were providing service of identifying customers for car loans and receiving commission from ICICI Bank. This was to be taxed under Business Auxiliary Services (BAS).  

The appellants admitted taxability but argued they were under bonafide belief the services are not taxable and so extended period of limitation should not be invoked.
Held : "The definition of Business  Auxiliary  Services  is  very  clear  and  there  is  no  scope  of interpretation. The definition specifically includes the service of promotion or marketing of any service of the client within its ambit." Appeals dismissed.


 12th Oct : CESTAT Mum : Tahnee Heights CHS Ltd. Vs Commissioner of CGST, Mumbai South : Held : "The appellant also do not provide any service to its members, who pay the amount towards their share of contribution, for occupation of the units ....the explanation furnished under clause 3(a) in Section 65B of the Act will not designate the appellant as an entity, separate from its members....the case of the appellant is not confirming to the requirement of 'service', as per the definition contained in Section 65B(44) of the Act."

10th Oct : CESTAT Ahd :  L & T Ltd. etc Vs C.C.E. Ahd Appellants argued the law and IS specifications had changed for their product "concrete mix" made at site. It was eligible for the exemption making the earlier Supreme Court judgement in their own case irrelevant.

Tribunal ruled that there is no change in the  C.Ex Tariff Heading description as far as ready mix concrete is concerned. There is no mention of any IS Specification anywhere in the SC judgement. So changes in IS Specifications cannot be used to distinguish the decision of Hon’ble Apex Court. Demand beyond the period of limitation set aside. Personal penalty quashed as this is a case of interretation.

11th Oct : CESTAT Chennai : M/s. Pepsico India HPL Vs Commr of GST & CE, Chennai Outer : The appellants had paid excess central excise duty for which they utilised the CENVAT credit. On realizing this they suo moto took re-credit of the excess amount debited from the Cenvat account.

Held:  Following the said decisions of the High Courts, The impugned order and demand was set aside.

High Court Judgements


2nd July, 2018  : Allahabad High Court : Hamdard (Wakf) Labs Vs Commr Of Commercial Taxes : The High Court upholds the Tribunal order and holds that "Sharbat "Rooh Afza" is not unclassifiable under Schedule-V of the Act and liable to tax @ 12.5%. It is neither fruit juice nor fruit drink nor processed fruit.

 2nd July, 2018 :  Delhi High Court : JOYCE KAROUNG Vs NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU : Relying on the SC judgment in Babua v. State of Orissa, (2001) 2 SCC 566 the High Court concluded the petitioner is not prima facie not guilty. Also, liberty of a citizen must be balanced with the interest of the society especially where narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are involved. It is alleged that this is not the first offence.

Click for earlier Judgements in 2018

CESTAT Dehi - Petro Carbon Decision

The CESTAT New Delhi Bench in CC Allahabad Vs Petro Carbon set aside the Order of the Commissioner Allahabad and allowed the department’s appeal in Petro Carbon Ind. Ltd. The matter came before the Tribunal after the Order was reviewed by the Board and appeal filed by the Commissioner consequent to the review order.

The Tribunal has observed that Commissioner has wrongly concluded that the difference between weigh slips and invoices was  just 1-2%. Also the argument advanced that the weight difference is due to jute bags used for packing is not convincing. Only 2450 jute bags were used as against 35203 plastic bags during the material period. The average difference is around 4-5% and not 1-2%. This cannot be due to the weight of bags.

Accordingly, the matter was remanded back to the Commissioner for a de novo consideration on the specific points covered by the Board’s review order. This matter therefore has not been concluded. Whether indeed there was clandestine removal by Petro Carbon is yet to be established/determined.

Our additional Comments: These comments have nothing to do with this case but relevant for ensuring good tax administration and tax compliance of all taxes. In cases where clandestine removal is proved/established, the indirect tax authorities should not stop at making cases under excise law alone. It should also be ensure that the such cases are examined from a direct tax and sales tax evasion angles.

Transactions involving clandestine removal / sale can happen only if the entire chain of transactions remain unaccounted. This means in cases where clandestine removal is involved, its not just that one particular tax. If excise is evaded, it is probable that the raw material supplier and service providers also participated, also it is not just excise. To remain out of the tax net, all taxes have to necessarily be evaded to avoid being exposed. So it would be income tax, VAT, CST, Octroi or entry tax, and so on. What is the tax administrations stated strategy on this?

We are told by experts that the quantum of such transactions that remain unaccounted and underground in the Indian economy would be almost 35% of the total!

So in a economy which exceeds $ 1.8 trillion, 35% of that would be Rs 37.8 Lac Crores. This is more than three times India’s Budget for 2014-15 which is Rs 11.9 Lac Crores.

Even if we assume that the direct and indirect taxes on unaccounted transactions is at a low 20% (current rates : excise / service tax -12.36%, VAT - 12.5/5%, Corporate tax on profits assuming a 10% profit would be around 3.3%). This would be Rs 7.56 Lac Crores! This is a little less than Rs 9.77 Lac Crores which is the estimated central tax revenue for 2014-15.

Apart from all this, a part of this large money floating in the under ground economy finds its way out of the country. This is because as the laws against corruption and black money get tighter within India, to escape from discovery it is moved out of India. When the nation is starved of money to develop and provide basic necessities to its poor citizens, the money goes missing. 

Isn’t this what the tax authorities should be pursuing? Isn't this what the CBEC, CBDT and the Revenue Secretary should be concerned about?

Instead if you go over the judgements of the Tribunals, almost 8 out of 10 cases are open and shut cases in favour of the assessee. Many times, decisions of tribunals, Courts and even Supreme Court are ignored. There cannot be and should not be any dispute in such cases?  Shouldn't they be called to explain as to how and why they are getting it wrong consistently? Such orders whether intentionally or unintentionally harass the honest tax payer, it takes away the time of the appellate authorities which could have been spent on more useful/fruitful work and over decreases the credibility of the tax organization.

Why are such orders passed? Even when favourable orders are passed, on the face of it they appear incorrect. What is the underlying reason for adjudicating authorities to get it wrong consistently case after case?

Tax Risk Management Part 1

An Introduction


Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing. 
- Warren Buffet

Read the Article


Tax Risk Management Part 2

Tax Risks as Black Swan Events!

If you were asked "What 'tax risks' you perceive in your business?" What would be your answer?

Read the Article



Indirect Tax Risk Management

Indirect Risk Tax Management




Economic Survey of India 2017-18