VAT exemption on cooking gas in JK to continue: Rather

 Srinagar, November 02 (Scoop News) -   The Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs,  Abdul Rahim Rather today announced that exemption of Value Added Tax (VAT) on domestic cooking gas from the month of April this year will continue in future also to provide respite to the people, even though the State exchequer had to bear the burden of Rs. 17 crore on this account during first seven months of the current fiscal.

            Speaking at the quarterly review meeting of the Commercial Tax department, Kashmir Division held at Banquet Hall, Srinagar today,  Rather said that the state’s development is subservient to the tax collection adding that the Commercial Tax department should launch a vigorous campaign against tax defaulters and their abettors irrespective of their status and position. He said there are stringent laws to deal with defaulters with iron hand but they are provided one more opportunity to clear their arrears as early as possible before any action is initiated against them.

             Rather also called for greater coordination between the J&K Bank, Accounts & Treasuries and Commercial Taxes departments to streamline tax realization system adding that strict action would be taken against the defaulting officers for any lapses and negligence in the tax collection process.

            The Commissioner Commercial Taxes Department,  Kifayat Hussain Rizvi, Joint Director, Accounts & Treasuries,  Altaf Hussain, Joint Director, C.T Department, Kashmir,  Rafiq Ahmad, Deputy Commissioner, Commercial Taxes department (HQ),  Showkat Aijaz, President J&K Bank and concerned Commercial Taxes Officers of the Kashmir Division were present in the meeting.

             Rather urged for making the tax collection system more people friendly so that tax payers do not feel any kind of inconvenience.

            The Minister instructed the Commercial Taxes Officers to ascertain that money collected from tax payers is immediately deposited adding that there should be no unnecessary retention in this regard. He also called for pursuing the court cases vigorously to vacated stays on them.

             Kifayat on the occasion assured the Minister that the CT department would work dedicatedly for, not only realizing the tax target of Rs 1000 for the current fiscal but also to surpass the assigned target.

            The meeting was informed that an amount of Rs 739.23 crore has been realized during the first two quarters of the current fiscal against Rs 681.88 crore realized during the corresponding period last financial year. The department has realized Rs 20.29 crore as penalty from the defaulters upto October this fiscal during whereas more than 32,000 new registrations were granted to the traders during the same period. In addition, about 1200 inspection of various establishments were also conducted upto October 2012 wherefrom Rs 26.84 crore was realized from the defaulters as penalty.