Piyush Goyal: States to test GST cashback for payments via Rupay, BHIM app

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Saturday announced that consumers would soon be incentivised to use digital payments in the form of cashback and a panel would be set up to look into the concerns of the small and medium enterprises.

Customers making payments through digital mode of transactions like RuPay cards or BHIM app will get a cashback of 20% of the GST component, not exceeding ₹100, finance minister Piyush Goyal said.

“We have decided to undertake a pilot project. A broad framework has been worked out so that users of Rupay debit card, BHIM, Aadhaar, UPI, USSD transactions can be given the incentives because these are mostly used by poor people…The Council has decided to prepare the software and back-end for this and whichever state volunteers for it, the pilot can be run in that state,” said Goyal at the end of the 29th GST Council meeting.

The council, which is the highest decision-making body for the new tax regime, also decided to set up a six-member panel of ministers under minister of state for finance Shiv Pratap Shukla to look into the issues of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector.

The other members of the Group of Ministers (GoM) include Delhi deputy chief minister, Manish Sisodia, Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi; Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, finance ministers of Kerala and Punjab Thomas Isaac and Manpreet Singh Badal, respectively.

Simultaneously, the law and procedure as well as rates related issues for the MSME sector would be considered in detail by the law committee and the Fitment Committee comprising of Centre and state tax officers. They will give their recommendations to the GoM, Goyal said.

The GoM is scheduled to provide its report within the next six weeks.

The MSME sector, a large-employment generator for the Indian economy has been constantly voicing opposition against GST.

“While on one side there are big business who give more taxes, but then on the other side there are small businesses who are large in number, who gives employment. Both have to be given importance,” said Sisodia.

“The big problem of the MSME sector is (lack of ) familiarity with GST, so they need a dedicated help desk at the Commissionerate-level so that issues are solved as a matter of discussion in a time-bound manner,” said Priyajit Ghosh, partner-indirect tax, KPMG India.

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