- Rahat Scheme launched to facilitate 1.86 lakh shopkeepers and traders
- Disbursal of VAT refunds facilitated online by creating dedicated fund
NewZNew (Chandigarh) : The Punjab Government has attained growth rate of 11.9 percent in collection of taxes to the tune of Rs 9114 crore by the end of August 2014 as compared to Rs. 7317.92 crores collected during the same period registering an increase of Rs. 965.97 crores.
Giving an account of revenue collections under various heads by excise and taxation department, an official spokesman said VAT collection had increased by 11.9 percent, central taxes by 5.8 percent, entertainment tax by 8.8 percent, luxury tax by 18.4 percent and overall revenue from state excise had registered 12.5 percent growth. He further added that state collected Rs. 7317.92 crores taxes from sales and trade Rs. 29 crores from entertainment and luxury tax and Rs. 1767 crores from state excise.
Highlighting the initiatives taken by the Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, who also holds excise and taxation portfolio, he said Punjab was the first state to launch one of its own kind “Rahat Scheme” to facilitate 1.86 lakh shopkeepers and traders. Department has launched Punjab Small Traders Rahat Scheme-2014 to provide relief to small traders to end inspector Raj. This scheme extends the benefit of cashless treatment up to Rs. 50,000, life and accidental insurance worth Rs. 2 lakh, and Rs. 5 lakh insurance in case of damage to property due to fire.
He said “State government is focusing on accelerated business and trade growth by creating a congenial environment by eliminating Inspector regime besides providing hassle and tension free trade activities.” Under Rahat Scheme traders have to file self-declaration on a single page application for registration and no excise official would visit or inspect their premises for checking purposes. He stressed that this scheme would prove a boon for traders as they would get rid from maintaining account books, employ accountants, printing of stationary besides saving their plenty of precious time and energy.
Disclosing the reasons behind the growth rate in tax collection, spokesman said that as per the visionary initiatives of Deputy CM, online VAT refund disbursal and star rating scheme besides creating a dedicated refund fund to expedite the clearances of refunds have also be launched by the department. He said, “Under this scheme VAT refunds to be disbursed to the traders between 15 and 60 days. Firms having 5 star rating gets refund in 15 days, 4 star rating firms in 25 days, 3 star rating firms in 30 days and 2 star rating in 25 days while the rest are getting refunds in 60 days”.
He further elaborated that voluntary disclosure scheme also encouraged the dealers to come clean and pay their unpaid tax. He said single stage taxation system had been introduced for the ease of traders to free them from the burden of keeping books of accounts. Under this plan, tax has to paid at the first point of sale stage i.e. manufacturer or first importer. Besides, annual award scheme has been launched for highest tax paying manufacturers and traders. About 200 persons have been honoured”, he added.
He added that computerisation of department has already launched for the facility of e-filing, e-permit, e-pass and e-billing to benefit the traders besides facilitating corporate and businessmen to larger extent.