November 2020 / India

November 29 2020

Gujarat – nurturing and fuelling New India’s entrepreneurial spirit

Gujarat is located on the western coast of India and has the longest coastline of 1,600 km among all the states in the country. The state shares its borders with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and the Union Territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The Arabian Sea borders the state on the west and the southwest.

Gujarat is one of the leading industrialised states in India. At current prices, Gujarat's Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) was about Rs. 18.85 trillion (US$ 269.70 billion) during 2020-21. The state’s GSDP grew at a CAGR of 12.87%, during 2015-16 to 2020-21.

As of March 2020, Gujarat had an installed power generation capacity of 35,211 megawatt (MW), comprising 8,572.17 MW under state utilities, 21,900.16 MW under private utilities, and 4,738.25 MW under central utilities.

Gujarat is considered the petroleum capital of India due to presence of large refining capacity set up by private and public sector companies.

The state is the world’s largest producer of processed diamonds, accounting for 72% of the world’s processed diamond share and 80% of India’s diamond exports. With a contribution of 65 to 70% to India’s denim production, Gujarat is the largest manufacturer of denim in the country and the third largest in the world. There are 42 ports, 18 domestic airports and one international airport. There are 106 product clusters and 60 notified special economic zones (SEZs). Large scale investment is expected in Gujarat as part of the US$ 90 billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC).

As of February 2020, Gujarat had 20 operational SEZs. In addition to operational SEZs, Gujarat had four SEZs with valid in-principle approvals, 28 SEZs with formal approvals and 24 SEZs with notified approvals.

According to Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) inflow in Gujarat reached US$ 26.6 billion between April 2000 and March 2020. Gujarat accounted for about five% share in the overall FDI inflows in India.

Total exports from the state stood at US$ 63,440 million in 2019-20 and US$ 17,418 million during April to August 2020.

November 6 2020

India Issues Implementing Guidelines for Equalization Levy on E-Commerce Supply or Services

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued guidelines implementing a 2% equalization levy (EL) chargeable on certain non-resident e-commerce supply or services under the Finance Act, 2020, with the existing rules and forms on the advertisement equalization levy being amended to extend their application to e-commerce supply or services.

In this regard, the CBDT issued the Equalization Levy (Amendment) Rules, 2020 to amend the Equalization Levy Rules, 2016. The amended EL rules remain largely the same, except for:

  • the substitution of the phrases "specified services or e-commerce supply or services" and "assessee or e-commerce operator" in provisions that mention "specified services" and "assessee", respectively; and
  • the revised Statement of Specified Services or E-commerce Supply or Services (Form No. 1) and Appeal to the Commissioner of Income Tax (Form No. 3), namely:
    • in Form No. 1, an e-commerce operator (i.e. the payer) is only required to provide information on the EL remitted to the government for each calendar quarter, unlike the requirement for specified services where the payer is required to provide information for each service provider and transaction;
    • in the case of a corporate payer, Form No. 1 may be verified by a person authorized to verify the income tax return under section 140 of the Income Tax Act or the principal officer (previously, the managing director or director or principal officer); and
    • in Forms No. 1 and 3, a payer for specified services or e-commerce supply or services may provide the Aadhar number instead of the Permanent Account Number (PAN) (previously, only the PAN is accepted).

Full details of the amended rules are available here.

Note: The Finance Act, 2020 extends the application of the equalization levy to e-commerce supply or services, in addition to specified services (i.e. online advertisement or any provision of digital advertisement space), effective from 1 April 2020. The obligation to withhold and remit the EL falls in the hands of the payer.