ACTION PUNJAB NEWS Desk: In a significant development, tobacco, pan masala, gutka product manufacturers are now required to register their packaging machinery with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) authorities.
Beginning April 1, tobacco products makers will face penalties of up to Rs 1 lakh if they fail to register their packing machinery with the GST authorities. This initiative is aimed at addressing revenue leakage within the tobacco manufacturing sector.
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The development came after the Finance Bill, 2024, has brought forth modifications to the Central GST Act, incorporating a penalty provision of Rs 1 lakh for each unregistered machine. Additionally, machinery failing to comply with registration requirements may be subject to seizure and confiscation in specific instances.
In line with the suggestions of the GST Council, tax authorities had previously outlined a specialized procedure for the registration of machines by tobacco manufacturers last year. These amendments signify a concerted effort to enhance compliance within the tobacco manufacturing sector and reinforce regulatory measures for greater transparency and accountability.
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The particulars of both existing and newly-installed packaging machines, including their respective capacities, are required to be provided in Form GST SRM-I.
In February last year, the GST Council, led by the Union Finance Minister and comprising state counterparts, endorsed a report put forth by a panel of state finance ministers focused on addressing tax evasion in pan masala and gutkha businesses.
This group of ministers (GoM) recommended a shift in the compensation cess mechanism for pan masala and chewing tobacco from an ad valorem to a specific rate-based levy. The objective was to enhance the initial stage collection of revenue.
As amendments made in the Finance Bill, 2023, stipulating that the GST compensation cess would be imposed on pan masala and other tobacco products based on the highest rate of their retail sale price.