CM Stalin
CM Stalin

Save traders from steep hike in penalty charges: ACCI

Citing these, Rethinavelu requested the department for a total implementation of the circular, but of no avail.

MADURAI: The Agrofood Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) Madurai, has sought Chief Minister MK Stalin’s intervention to withdraw amendments made by the Commercial Taxes Department and demanded to form a ‘State GST Council,’ comprising trade representatives.

The chamber has strongly objected to the amendments issued on January 10 this year by the department instructing the Roving Squad to levy a maximum penalty of double the tax amount on goods even for errors not involving any tax evasion, while inspection of goods vehicles in transit.

The amendments should be withdrawn immediately for the growth of trade and industry in Tamil Nadu, S Rethinavelu, president, ACCI, Madurai said.

“We have been clamouring for a long time with the state government’s Commercial Tax Department to issue suitable procedures to be adopted by the Roving Squad officers during inspection of goods vehicles,” he said.

The then Tamil Nadu Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, V Somanathan, who’s presently the Union Finance Secretary, already issued a circular in 2019 giving a protocol in detail to the Roving Squad officers to be adopted during interception and inspection of goods vehicles prescribing lesser penalty for errors without any tax evasion, insisting that innocent taxpayers should not be confronted with unpleasant and unfriendly action of the Department.

Citing these, Rethinavelu requested the department for a total implementation of the circular, but of no avail.

A maximum penalty of 200 per cent of the tax amount has been prescribed even for the consignment accompanied by tax invoice and valid e-way bill showing the existence of tax, in which a non-tax evasive error is noticed.

Under the Central GST circular, only Rs 500 has been prescribed as penalty for non-tax evasive errors, but the amendments are against the principle of the GST and the idea of ‘One Nation; One Tax’.

Pleading for such harassments to stop and prevent stakeholders from leaving business activities on account of the threat of such heavy penalties, the ACCI requested Chief Minister Stalin and Commercial Taxes Minister P Moorthy to withdraw the above amendments.

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