Adopting major industry and traders’ friendly measures, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today abolished the e-trip system besides exempting 1.86 lac dealers from VAT assessment having turnover less than Rs. 1 crore by excise department. He also announced to implement "RAHAT scheme" for all urban areas and launched helpline number 1800-258-2580 for business community to register their grievances and suggestions.Writing a new chapter of relationship between Punjab Government and business community during a meeting with traders here, Mr. Badal announced to abolish existing e-transportation of information within Punjab (e-Trip) for Iron & Steel, Yarn, Vegetable Oils, Mustard Oil, Cotton and Paper Board industry besides launched new self assessment policy for about 80 % dealers of total dealer base.
Announcing abolishment of e-trip, Deputy CM said that from today onwards there would be no e-trip applicable in the state. He said it was the long pending demand of industrialists and traders as they were resisting the existing VAT collection system of Excise and Taxation Department against tax-evasion. To resolve such issues he informed that Punjab government has held detailed meetings and discussions with representatives of industry and trade fraternity through its 6 member co-ordination committee and decided to abolish e-transportation of information within Punjab (e-Trip) system by fixing rate of tax to 3.5 percent plus 10 percent surcharge. Under this liberalised policy announced by Mr Badal items under e-trip including yarn, vegetable, sarson, cotton and paper board have been exempted from the existing e-trip system.
As per new tax assessment policy, no case with turnover less than Rs. 1 crore would be taken up for assessment thereby benefitting 1.86 lac dealers constituting about 80% of the total dealer base. This decision is of much importance for traders as their assessments of last 4 years are due and with this decision they have been given freedom from assessments for all these 4 years. "In case assessment of any such dealer is taken up by any official, the dealer may complain at helpline" said Mr Badal.Deputy Chief Minister also announced that criteria for selection of cases would be decided by the Government and to be put on the website of Department. He further added that list of cases selected for assessment would also be put on the website and if any ETO takes up any case outside the list published on the website, concerned dealer may complain at helpline.
Announcing a big relief to the small re-rolling mills, the Deputy CM said that the iron industry would have to pay VAT under lump-sum scheme based on electricity consumption with 50 paisa per unit of electricity consumed. Abolishing e-Trip for the industry, the re-rolling millers have to pay tax only 2% at the stage of import or first purchase instead of advance tax of 2.5%. Meanwhile, Mr. Badal also announced new tax slab and extended RAHAT scheme for shopkeepers of Class-I and Corporation towns which was earlier applicable to only to Class-II and Class-III towns. He informed that under this scheme traders would not have to maintain account books, stock registers, purchase invoices or bills, ledgers and goods receipts (bilities) and these measures would completely end ‘Inspector Raj’.
Announcing new tax slab for traders, Deputy Chief Minister said there would be no tax increase for next three years and after that there would be marginal increase of 5 percent. As per new tax slab, traders with less than 5 lac turnover have to pay Rs 50 per annum, Rs 1000 for turnover from Rs 5 Lac to Rs. 10 Lac, Rs. 5000 for turnover from Rs 10 Lac to Rs. 25 Lac, Rs. 10000 for turnover from Rs 25 Lac to Rs. 50 Lac, Rs. 15000 for turnover from Rs 50 Lac to Rs. 75 Lac and Rs. 20000 for turnover from Rs 75 Lac to Rs. 1 crore.Launching social security scheme for business community Deputy Chief Minister also announced free insurance by Government for dealers with turnover up to Rs. 1 crore. Under this policy three types of insurance covers would be provided including accidental death and disability insurance of Rs. 2.00 lac, health insurance of Rs. 50,000 and fire insurance of Rs. 5.00 lac.
Receiving charter of demands from various quarters of industry and trade, Mr. Badal gave a call to all industrialists to come forward with their respective issues pertaining to Punjab Government. He said SAD-BJP government was committed to resolve all such issues to create industry-friendly environment. He said in this regard a high powered committee comprising 6 members have been formed including Chief Parliamentary Secretaries Mr. Sarup Chand Singla and Mr. N.K. Sharma, Punjab Traders Board Chairman Mr. Narotam Dev Ratti and Vice Chairman Mr. Madan Lal Bagga, SAD traders wing president Mr. Satish Dhanda and Mr. Gurcharan Singh Channi from Doaba zone. He said by the end of February all such issues would be discussed and necessary actions would be taken.Among others present on the occasion included Financial Commissioner Taxation D.P. Reddy, former MLA Ujjagar Singh Badali, ETC Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner Tejinderpal Singh Sidhu and District BJP unit president Sukhwinder Goldi.