Rahat scheme: Punjab govt to extend benefits to small traders

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Dec 07, 2015 21:44 IST
CPS industries and commerce NK Sharma addressing a meeting in Patiala on Monday. (Bharat Bhushan/HT Photo )

In an attempt to facilitate traders, the Rahat scheme unveiled by the state government last year will now be extended to small traders as well. This was disclosed by chief parliamentary secretary (CPS, excise and taxation) Sarup Chand Singla and CPS (industries and commerce) NK Sharma while chairing a meeting of the six-member state committee on tax reforms in Patiala on Monday.

Under the scheme launched for a few cities, traders who have a turnover of Rs 1 crore or less may opt for payment of tax in lump sum. Addressing local mediapersons, Singla, who is also the party’s trader wing president, said they would conduct a meeting with traders on December 9 in Bathinda to seek their response on how the scheme could be expended further to give relief to small traders. “A similar meeting will be held in other districts, so that we can formulise a uniform taxation scheme to uplift small- and medium-scale industries in Punjab,” he said.

Backing the upcoming goods and service tax (GST), Singla said that it would be a boon for the industry, as doing business would become easy with its implementation. “Small-scale industries will especially benefit from the GST,” he said.

‘Traders, excise officials working in tandem’

Rubbishing allegations that the state government’s various schemes for industry had failed to yield any results, the CPS said the Rahat scheme was well-appreciated by the business community, and even other states were thinking of implementing it.

“In fact, relationship between excise officials and traders has improved tremendously in recent months. Our effort is to strength it further, so that both traders and the government can work as a cohesive unit. We will soon launch other welfare schemes for traders, including the facility of availing themselves of a mediclaim policy of up to Rs 50,000,” said Singla.

NK Sharma said that with the efforts of the Shiromai Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party government, the state has seen a lot of investment in the recent past. “The investments will soon result in job creation and add to state revenue,” he said.

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