NEW DELHI :
A ministerial panel led by Kerala finance minister Thomas Isaac is exploring ways to curb evasion of goods and services tax (GST) on gold. The measures would include mandating electronic permits for transportation of the precious metal.
The panel, which has five other members including Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, met in New Delhi on Saturday. The panel decided to take suggestions from various agencies including companies that import gold and from income tax officials, a person privy to the development said.
Kerala has reported a drastic fall in taxes collected from the levy on gold since the implementation of GST in July 2017. This has given rise to concerns of tax evasion. Unlike consignments of other goods, the precious metal, at present, does not require e-way bills. The panel is examining if e-way bills or any method to track transportation of the yellow metal could be adopted.
Kerala, a big consumer of gold, collected ₹600 crore in taxes on the yellow metal prior to GST’s introduction. The collections fell sharply after the new indirect tax regime was rolled out, giving rise to fears of under-reporting of sales by jewellers. Central and state officials are now on a drive against under-reporting of sales and tax evasion using data collected from various sources.
Another ministerial panel led by Sushil Kumar Modi also met on Saturday to find ways of settling un-apportioned taxes on inter-state supplies, said the person quoted above. The seven-member panel is examining ways that would address concerns raised by Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Punjab and Delhi in settling this amount. The GST Council will decide on these issues based on recommendations of the ministerial panels.
The Council is expected to hold its next meeting after the Union Budget to be presented on 1 February. The Council would focus on fixing the loopholes in GST and increase revenue collections.