Ludhiana, March 4, 2018

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) brought in by the Central government to bring transparency has failed to evoke the desired response. Implemented in June-July 2017, the GST has given enough boost to “bogus traders” while the government continues reel under losses.

As far as consumer is concerned, he/she continues to get “rough-slips” in the name of bills as shopkeepers charge the GST from them.

The Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association (FOPSIA) president, Badish Jindal, said shopkeepers and fake traders were having a field day under the garb of the GST.

“Today, you go to buy products like footwear, steel utensils etc shopkeepers will never provide you with a proper bill. They just give you slips. They levy the GST on customers, but it is never deposited in the government treasur,” he said.

Many raids and surveys have been conducted in the city by the Excise and Taxation Department recently. Documents seized during these raids show that shopkeepers or showroom owners charge the GST from consumers, but never deposit it in the government treasury.

Most consumers say they are never provided bills for goods purchased from shops. “In routine, when we purchase anything from utensils to hardware products to footwear, neither are we given bills nor do we ask for these. A consumer has no time to wait for getting a bill. A retailer just mentions the total amount for the product to be purchased, which is also wrong on our part,” said Sushil Kumar, a bank employee.

Meanwhile, top officials feel that the “nexus” is under the radar of the department. “Many GST numbers of those traders have been cancelled, who are doing business in an illegal manner,” they added.

“We hope that now, there will be an improvement in the taxation system and the government will be able to get the GST dues in a transparent manner. Many GST numbers have been cancelled. Raids and surveys are on to ensure that the tax amount is deposited in the treasury,” said HPS Ghotra, Joint Director Investigation, Jalandhar.

As government has failed to meet the GST targets, funds are not being released and development works have come to halt. Besides, in many government offices salaries have not been paid to workers for a simple reason that the GST have not yielded expected returns.

[The Tribune]