Members of Punjab Pradesh Vyapar Mandal are a harried lot these days. Reason, a new system started by the excise and taxation department.
In this new system, bills amounting to more than Rs 2 lakh for steel industry and more than Rs 3 lakh for others have to be registered online with the department's website.
After registration, the website generates a slip containing all details about the bill along with the estimated time by which the goods 'should reach' its destination.
Now, what is worrying the traders is one, what if they don't have Internet connectivity at first place and two what if the website crashes? In order to voice their concern, the Mandal has decided to submit a memorandum of their demands to all elected representatives in state in order to oppose the policies of the government and to apprise them about the problems being faced by them. The process of submitting the memorandums would complete by Sunday evening.
"We are doing this to gather political support so that our demands are supported. We have plans to submit memos to SAD-BJP leaders, as well the Congress leaders. We will also hand over our memorandum to member of Parliament Manish Tiwari and cabinet minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon," said Mohinder Aggrawal, secretary, Punjab Pradesh Vyapar Mandal.
He said, "There are more than 90% traders, who do not have Internet facility. How can they manage to fill details of the bills every time they generate an invoice? Moreover, what will traders do in case the website crashes or fails to work."
"When we give online details of sale purchase every month, then what was the need for this new system and if the department wishes to do the same then why don't they make the VAT refund and the C-forms available online," he asked.
Meanwhile, Satish Dhanda, vice-chairman of Punjab State Medium Industries Board said, "The government has introduced this new system to ensure transparency. Moreover, we have been observing the system's performance regularly and the government is all set to arrange a meeting with traders to discuss all issues."
He said, "Earlier, when traders and industrialists used to have manual bill books it was easy for the excise department to keep a check. But with computerised billing it became easy not only for the department but the traders as well, as earlier anyone could destroy the bill and regenerate another one of the same number. Hence the need for the new system was felt, where details can be uploaded there and then leaving no room for discrepancies."
Dhanda further added that, "The system was implemented on August 10 and when some traders raised the issue of not having Internet access, we provided them an alternative of manual billing. All they had to do was to get the pre-authentication of their bill books. For this the trader had to go to the excise department where non-removable stickers would be pasted on his bill book at a nominal charge. After that the trader can do manual billing without registering his bills online, while generating the invoice, he just have to add the dispatch time on his bill."
Dhanda further added that out of total two lakh registered dealers (VAT) merely 10, 000 dealers generated single invoices of more than Rs 2 lakh.