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GST commissioner allays traders' fears

The GST commissioner today said tax inspectors have no role in enrolment under goods and services tax and the traders could enrol themselves online. It also allayed fears of harassment expressed by the traders.

By A Staff Reporter in Guwahati
  • Published 2.07.17
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Viney Kumar Paul in Guwahati on Saturday. Picture by UB Photos

Guwahati, July 1: The GST commissioner today said tax inspectors have no role in enrolment under goods and services tax and the traders could enrol themselves online. It also allayed fears of harassment expressed by the traders.

"GST removes the interface between tax inspectors and assessees. The traders just need to log onto the GST website and enrol themselves. If any tax inspector or official creates problem, the taxpayers can approach our two seva kendras at Bhangagarh and Beltola here and we will take action accordingly. The traders can also approach us for any help. This is a simple process which is why Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed it 'good and simple tax' while rolling out GST at midnight," Assam GST commissioner Viney Kumar Paul said here this morning.

The central excise and service tax commissionerate has now become the GST commisionerate. Nearly 25,000 assessees in the Northeast who were registered with the tax commissionerate have migrated to GST and enrolment of new taxpayers began with the rollout, Paul said.

GST replaces all indirect taxes levied by the Centre and state governments and more than 1,200 goods and services will now be taxed under four slabs - 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent and 28 per cent.

All businesses with turnover of more than Rs 10 lakh in the Northeast would be required to enrol under GST while it is Rs 20 lakh in other states.

On the demand by northeastern states to increase the turnover limit to Rs 20 lakh, Paul said, "Those decisions are taken by the government and we only implement whatever has been notified."

Paul said eight GST commissionerates have been opened in the Northeast, of which two are in Assam (Guwahati and Dibrugarh) and one each in Meghalaya (Shillong), Manipur (Imphal), Arunachal Pradesh (Itanagar), Mizoram (Aizawl), Tripura (Agartala) and Nagaland (Kohima). Upper Assam districts will be covered by the Dibrugarh office while the Guwahati office will look after south, central and lower Assam districts.

Three offices of central excise and service tax at Guwahati, Dibrugarh and Shillong used to cover the Northeast before the rollout of GST, Paul said. "We have already trained our officials on GST and have been carrying out awareness programmes for assessees on how to enrol for the same. Apart from two mobile vans, we are sending emails, text messages and have also opened a Facebook page to create awareness. Our effort is now to make more people aware about how to enrol under GST," he said.

BJP members celebrated the GST rollout at the state party headquarters here by distributing sweets.

Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma will attend an interactive session on GST along with business communities, officers and staff of taxation department, college and university students at Rabindra Bhawan here at 3pm tomorrow.