A meeting of Committee on Public Accounts (PAC) of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly was today held under the chairmanship of MLA, Mian Altaf Ahmed to examine the CAG Audit Paras pertaining to implementation and working of Value Added Tax Act, 2005 (VAT) by the Finance department.Legislators, Nawang Rigzin Jora, Aijaz Ahmed Khan, Choudhary Sukhnandan Kumar, Javid Mustaffa Mir, Ranbir Singh Pathania, Rajesh Gupta, Qaiser Jamshed Lone and Mohammad Khursheed Alam were present in the meeting and expressed their views on the observations made by the CAG about the implementation of VAT.The Committee discussed and examined CAG observations, besides reviewed the functioning of the department especially with regard to the VAT and GST tax regime.Commissioner Secretary, Finance Department, Navin K. Choudhary briefed the Committee about the observations made by the CAG in its Audit report regarding the department and assured the Committee that the department is fully prepared to implement GST in the State.Commissioner Secretary also briefed the Committee about VAT and its various aspects. He said that the Information Technology (IT) department has been taking various steps to speed up the process of on- line system for proper implementation of VAT.
He informed the Committee that Jammu and Kashmir Value Added Tax Act, 2005 provides for a number of mechanisms for tackling the issue of tax evasion by the traders apart from tax audit, audit assessment, inspections. He said search and seizures have been prescribed as tools to prevent evasion of taxes .He further informed that one of the important factor for administration of VAT is to have a robust computer system in place.”The State implemented the J&K VAT Act, 2005 from April 1st 2005, the computerization of various applications was taken up only from 2010 gradually and some areas are still under various stages of development and implementation” he said.The Committee recommended that the Law Department should appoint lawyers with credible experience of taxation laws as Government counsels to minimize the number of pendency relating to tax evasions in various courts of the state.The Committee dropped some Audit Paras with some suggestions after satisfied reply was given by the concerned department and asked the concerned authorities for effective monitoring of the policies of department.Accountant General, (Audit), CAG, H. Abbas also pointed out and highlighted the observations made by the CAG report pertaining to the Finance department. He mentioned non conduct of tax audit, delay in conducting tax audit, self assessment, etc.Commissioner, Commercial Taxes, (CTT), Parvez Khateeb, Additional Commissioner Commercial Taxes, Srinagar and Jammu, besides officers and officials of concerned department also attended the meeting.