The Commerce Ministry has asked its finance counterpart to close all the inter-state check points after implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST). The move would help in seamless movement of goods from one state to the other and it will acts as a “big boon particularly to exporters”, an official said.
The suggestion was made to the Finance Ministry with a view to enhance logistics competitiveness of Indian exporters. Citing an example, the official said one truck takes about 258 minutes at the inter-state check point in Assam.
In some states, this time varies from 60 minutes to hundreds of minutes. According to a study, in India, trucks spend 60 per cent of their time in plying on roads while 40 per cent of the time, they spend on check points and other approval related issues. Due to this, the productivity of trucks declines and he rate goes up. There are over 600 interstate checkpoints in the country and it increases truck travel time. GST is expected to roll out from April next. Meanwhile, the Central Board of Direct Taxes singed five unilateral advance pricing agreements (APAs) with Indian taxpayers as it looks to reduce litigation by providing certainty in transfer pricing.
“One of these agreements has a rollback provision in it. With these signings, the total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT has reached 103,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement. “The 5 APAs signed today pertain to diverse sectors, i.e., information technology, sourcing services and investment advisory services,” it added. The statement further said 103 APAs signed so far include 4 bilateral APAs and 99 unilateral APAs.
“A total of 39 APAs have already been concluded in six months of the current Financial Year,” it said. CBDT expects more APAs to be concluded and signed in the near future, the statement said, adding that the progress of the APA scheme strengthens the government’s commitment to foster a non-adversarial tax regime.