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‘Should an injured trucker first phone GST officials, then get treatment?’

Finance minister faces tough questions from industrialists, traders at an event at Bhopal

Bhopal: Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal was bombarded with tough questions at a function christened ‘GST Par Samvad’ (Discussion on GST), here on Friday.

Addressing the function, Goyal lauded the GST Council for successful implementation of the new tax regime within a year. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, state Finance Minister Jayant Malaiya, Revenue Minister Umashankar Gupta, Principal Commissioner Income Tax Patanjali Jha and GST Commissioner Hemant Bhatt were among those present.

Sixty-one suggestions were made by 37 organisations of businessmen, industrialists and others to the minister at the programme. Goyal said that all these suggestions will be put up at the GST council meeting.

Why I-T on subsidies?

Questions such as why the government levies income tax on subsidies given to industries, why GST returns are required to be filed every month, why interest rate rockets to 18 per cent, if a person is late by even a day in paying his tax dues, among others, were posed to the finance minister at the event.

Manoj Modi, President, Mandideep Industrial Association, said, “The state government gives subsidies to certain industries. But the CGST department recently imposed a service tax on this. Moreover, income tax is also being charged on it. How can the subsidy given by one government be considered an income by another?”

Ashok Malpani, President, Bhopal Transporter Association, asked the finance minister, “During transit, if a truck meets with an accident, it is mandatory for the driver to inform the GST officials concerned first. If the driver himself is injured in the accident, would his priority be to seek treatment in a hospital or make the phone call?”

Huge penalties

S. Krishnan, Chairman, Tax Law Bar Association, Bhopal, said, “A registered dealer deposits tax in advance, which is reflected in the e-cash register. If he fails, for some reason, to deposit tax on time, he has to pay 18 per cent interest. When the dealer has already paid the tax in advance, why is additional interest being levied?”

‘Give time to correct mistakes’

Kailash Agarwal, Former President, Bhopal Chamber of Commerce, said that this was the first year of GST implementation and people have been having trouble understanding the new system, often having to bear the brunt for this. It would be better, Agrawal added, if the government gave the assesses one month to correct their mistakes and avoid huge penalties.

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Amrish Herdenia

Amrish Herdenia is a Assistant Editor for DBPOST and is based in Bhopal. Contact this editor at amrishherdenia@hotmail.com.