Ludhiana, July 20, 2017

VAT goes, but refunds worth crores still pending with the Income Tax Dept

The Value Added Tax (VAT) is no more but traders are worried. Reason: Huge amount of VAT refunds are still pending with the Income Tax Department and traders are waiting for it to be released.

According to sources in the industry, a refund of nearly Rs 700-800 crore is pending with the department.

On the one side, Goods and Services Tax has been levied and on the other side, a large amount of VAT refunds is pending with the government, which is giving sleepless nights to traders and industrialists.

“VAT refund is like investment for us. A huge amount of my VAT refund is pending with the government and left with no other option, I am taking loan from the bank to continue my work. I am also paying interest on the loan, but my hard-earned money is lying with the department and I am unable to get it,” said Vijay Malhotra, a hosiery manufacturer.

The cycle industries from the city have nearly Rs 3-4 crore VAT refund pending with the department.

Badish Jindal, president of the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association, said now everybody was after GST and amid this, the department seems to have forgotten VAT refunds. “It is the hard-earned money of the industry and should be refunded at the earliest. Traders are finding it difficult to run their enterprises, but the department seems to be sleeping over the issue,” he said.

Gurmeet Kular, president of the Federation of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking, said a huge amount of VAT refund pending was a major issue for the industry.

“The department should clear the refunds at the earliest, as it blocks the capital of the industry. Some are even taking loans from the bank to clear their overhead charges,” Kular said.

Senior officials from the department said the amount of nearly Rs 250 crore was pending with the department and it was releasing it at a smooth pace.

The funds would be released within three months, an official said. There are some discrepancies on papers due to which the refunds are halted, he added.

[The Tribune]