GST impact: Gold import surge from South Korea alarms govt 


A month after goods and services tax (GST) roll-out, a sudden deluge of gold imports from free trade partner South Korea has alarmed New Delhi. Swinging into action, the government is examining several options, including levy of safeguard duty on gold imports from South Korea to plug the route. Officials brainstormed on the matter through Tuesday, it is learnt. Among others, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia met Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia to assess the situation.

In July itself, 8,400 kg of gold, essentially in coins, came to the country from South Korea, compared to almost nil last year in the same month. Sources said that traders may be exploiting the favourable reduction in tax incidence under GST by routing imports through Seoul, to take advantage of the India-Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), the free trade pact.

”There is a sharp rise in gold imports after GST implementation, only from South Korea. We are looking at all options available to us as this is a big cause of concern. Before July, we were not getting gold coins or gold medallions, which we are getting now,” said a senior government official. He added that the FTA route should not be misused as it is going to impact the local domestic market. The ministry of finance recently notified rules under the India-Korea FTA, empowering the Director General of Safeguards to slap duty on such imports.

import from Korea is exempted from customs duty under the 2009 agreement, and the importer only has to pay 3 per cent IGST. Until June, the excise duty on gold and jewellery was 12.5 per cent


GST implementation: Bombay HC dismisses plea seeking deferment of new tax

Illustration: Binay Sinha

GST Implimentation-The Bombay High Court on Tuesday dismissed a public interest litigation seeking deferment of the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).A division bench, headed by Justice V K Tahilramani, said it was not inclined to interfere in the government’s decision to implement the GST.

The PIL, filed by city resident K S Pillai last month, challenged the Union government’s decision to roll out the major tax reform in the middle of the financial year. The petition had sought a direction from the high courtto the government for deferment of the implementation of the GST till the beginning of the next financial year.

The Centre had opposed the petition and said the decision to implement the GST had been carefully considered by Parliament. The Union government also said that the implementation of the GST was in public interest.

“There is no prohibition in the law to prevent the government from implementing any Tax reform at any point in the year as long as it has the sanction of Parliament,” Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh had earlier argued.