Saturday, December 9, 2023

Shops, business establishments in Jamshedpur down shutters in protest against GST

Jamshedpur, Feb 26: In pursuance of the call of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) for Bharat Vyapar Bandh today met with a great grand success across the city when small businesses belonging to about thousand trade associations across the city kept their shutters closed and no trading activity took place in any commercial market.All shops – garments, hardware, automobile, utensils and jewellery stores remained closed in Bistupur, Sakchi and other places in response to the bandh. Members of the trade outfit also hit the streets. They went around Bistupur and Sakchi requesting the business establishments to keep their shutters down.

The call of Bharat Vyapar Bandh was given by CAIT to lodge strong protest of the business community against some of the arbitrary and draconian amendments made in GST Rules on 22nd December and thereafter and demanding their immediate deferment. The CAIT also protested against unethical business practices of foreign e commerce companies those who are continuously and openly violating the FDI policy much to the disadvantage of domestic trade of the Country. The CAIT has demanded immediate issuance of a new Press Note to replace Press Note No.2 of the FDI policy plugging the loopholes and escape route to e-commerce companies who are bent upon in violating the law and policy and feels that Indian laws are weak which can be twisted to their side and that too after repeated warning of Union Commerce Minister Shri Piyush Goyal. Today’s Bharay Vyapar Bandhhas caused a business loss of about One lakh crores of rupees .

The commercial markets across the Country wore a deserted look as Vyapar Bandh was observed by traders of all States from East to West and North to South India presenting a united and firm voice to both Central Government, State Governments and GST Council that colonisation of GST tax system will lead to disruption in trade and economy.In all States, both wholesale and retail markets remained closed today restricting Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumers (B2C) to a minimal level since supply & distribution of essential commodities, Chemist shops, General Store supplying Milk & Dairy products were excluded from the purview of the Vyapar Bandh. All India Transport Welfare Association (AITWA), All India FMCG Products Distributors Federation, All India Women Entrepreneurs Association, Hawkers Joint Action Committee, All India Computer Media Dealers Association, Federation of All India Vegetable Oil Dealers Association, National Small Industries Association and large number of other national and state level Organisations all over India participated in Vyapar Bandh. In total nearly 8 crore traders, 1 crore transporters, 3 crore hawkers and nearly 75 lakhs small Industries all over India kept their business premises closed.

CAIT National secretary Suresh Sonthalia while claiming the tremendous success of the Bharat Vyapar Bandh said that the arbitrary and unfettered powers given to tax officials will bring Inspector Raj in the Country once again and instead of using it against the tax offenders , the harassment and victimisation of the honest and tax complying traders can not be ruled out on the basis of trader’s past experience. The CAIT has demanded that the controversial provisions of GST Rules should be kept in abeyance and traders should be taken into confidence before bringing any amendment in law or the rules.

The CAIT also said that the current tax base under GST and revenue accrued from this tax base is highly underrated and can be doubled but the GST tax system needs to be simplified and rationalised and cooperation of trade associations is sought for a harmonious partnership.The CAIT is of the considered opinion that tax offenders and tax evaders must be given exemplary punishment. Any person dealing in fake invoices must face the strictest action as they bring much discredit and unfair competition to honest & tax complying traders but the distinction between ‘error’ and ‘evasion’ should be spelled out clearly.

Spelling out the complexity of GST law and rules, Sonthalia said that ” the  GST which was announced on 1st July 2017 was a simple tax in real terms currently but with more than 950 amendments in the last four years has made GST a  complex system much beyond the understanding of a common trader. ” We challenge the Finance Minister of any State to fill the GST return form without the help of any tax expert on any public platform?-said the CAIT leaders. Though GST Council can revise GST law & rules in such huge numbers but traders are not allowed to revise their GST returns even at least for one time. The vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for making GST, a good & simple tax  has been tarnished by the GST Council.  Both leaders said that  forced compliance is an artificial barrier  to growth of business. The law and the rules should be inclusive and an inspiration for voluntary compliance. “-said the trade leaders. The laws and the rules are made for 5% people who are habitual offenders in any system but the law or the rules are used against 95% other people who are complying the law.

Amendments needed against complex, arbitrary GST system: Sonthalia

The vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making GST, a good & simple tax has been tarnished by the GST Council, said CAIT National secretary Suresh Sonthalia.

Forced compliance is an artificial barrier to growth of business. The law and the rules should be inclusive and an inspiration for voluntary compliance, said the trade leader. The laws and the rules are made for 5% people who are habitual offenders in any system but the law or the rules are used against 95% other people who are complying the law.

Sonthalia said that if amendments are not put in abeyance, in all likelihood there will be a shortfall in revenue from regular businesses as the GST numbers will get suspended even for an unintentional error. It is an open fact that Government Departments and PSUs under the Government don’t in time then how they expect traders to make payment of taxes in time. We urge upon both the Central and State Government to draw a chart of payments made by Departments under both Governments and PSUs under them, the real picture will emerge.

Bharat Vyapar Bandh successful in Jamshedpur: SCCI

Business establishments in Jamshedpur remained closed on Friday in response to nationwide call of Bharat Vyapar Bandh given by Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) over GST complications.

Ashok Bhalotia, President of Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry said shops and other businesses remained are closed. “Bharat Bandh is successful. Our Bharat Bandh is over GST complication.”

Bhalotia informed that about 950 amendments have been made in the GST rules in past four years. “The issues related to glitches in GST portal and constant stress on compliance are major lacunae in the tax regime,” he added.

He also called for a review of GST system and its tax slabs to simplify and rationalise it for easier compliance by traders.

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