New Delhi, February 21, 2017

The Delhi government, in a first-of-its-kind drive, has cleared 72,000 cases of refund to dealers registered with the value-added tax (VAT) department in a span of around six months. These cases involve clearance of dues amounting to Rs 850 crore, which also includes the interest amount accrued over the years due to delays in refund.In many cases, the delay in redressing the refund cases is up to 17 years. This clean-up is part of the process to prune and prepare the system for the transition to the GST regime.

Another 68,000-odd cases are still to be dealt with and the VAT department is trying to expedite the process before switching to the GST regime.VAT commissioner H Rajesh Prasad told TOI, "There were a total of 1.4 lakh cases, which were pending for refund with the VAT department with the pendency dating back to 2005.The refund process has to be completed by March, according to the deadline set for shifting to the GST regime.The department says it is trying hard to deal with the high backlog and deliver on time."

Prasad explained that VAT officers across the city were asked to take out all the pending cases and prepare lists for quick disposal. Sources said that over the years, dealing with refund cases was seen as the last priority, hence the cases kept piling up.

[The Times of India]