Hookah bars in Pune booked in GST raids

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“Alcoholic drinks are outside the purview of GST. However, some lounges have adopted the modus operandi of charging GST on alcoholic drinks also and not paying that to government exchequer,” said a statement issued by DGGI Pune.

The Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) in Pune has booked a few hookah bars and lounges that serve alcoholic beverages in a posh locality for collecting GST from customers even as alcoholic drinks have been kept outside the purview of GST by the government.

The officials from DGGI raided a number of hookah bars and lounges on March 27 and 28 as part of its drive to catch GST evaders. The searches were co-ordinated by Vikram Wani, additional director, DGGI, Pune.

The DGGI has alleged that the GST collected by these lounges and bars have been pocketed by the owners.  In one case, the lounge owner did not have GST registration despite having a turnover of over Rs 6.5 crore.  “Alcoholic drinks are outside the purview of GST. However, some lounges have adopted the modus operandi of charging GST on alcoholic drinks also and not paying that to government exchequer. In the case of one lounge, the GST collected in such a manner was found to be around Rs 20 lakhs,” said a statement issued by DGGI Pune.

“Such cases of blatant tax evasion where GST is collected from customers and pocketed by businessmen, instead of depositing in to government account , are also a fraud on the general public. The general public should come forward and contribute in the effective implementation of GST by sharing information about GST evasion instances,” said Vaishali Patange, deputy director at DGGI Pune, who is probing the case.

Source:http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/hookah-bars-in-pune-booked-in-gst-raids-5116673/lite/

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