Tribune News Service
Amritsar, October 28
The Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal (PPBM) has sought early passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill pending in Rajya Sabha. In a communiqué to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the PPBM president, Amrit Lal Jain, put forth views, demands, besides seeking some clarifications on the GST.“
The business community of the country is surprised that the GST Bill, which has been passed by Lok Sabha, is still pending in Rajya Sabha. It affects five crore traders and industrialists of the country, who know nothing except what they read in newspapers”, he remarked.
He said, “In the beginning it was said that the GST will be uniform. There will be only one tax under the GST regime and its collection will be distributed amongst the states. The main benefit of the GST regime is the promise to reduce multiple taxes, which is a good step, if it is only on the pattern of other countries.”
The government had not made it clear that how it would merge existing laws on excise duty, VAT and service tax. It was indeed unfortunate that the enactments and rules on the GST were still unknown. T
his was a dangerous area of darkness. There was still uncertainty about the final GST rates, added Jain.He said, “While as many as 132 countries have a single GST. Only a few have a dual GST.
The Indian version is likely to be most complex with different states enacting their own laws.”“It may prove unsuitable for a vast, heterogeneous country like India. Indeed, the needs of states like Maharashtra and Gujarat are completely different from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand etc,” he added.
He said still there was no clarity on which authority would administer a combined GST, whether there would be no role of the Central Excise or Service Tax Departments, except in inter-state transactions.
The Mandal demanded that businessmen were keen to know the position of states to dismantle all check posts, ICC and entry barriers before the GST regime was enforced and if transfer of goods would be allowed under the GST.
It also sought that under the GST regime there should not be any immunity to officials, who would deal with the GST regime, besides they should be accountable for any error.