The Patiala Industry Association (PIA) has strongly protested the amendments in the value-added tax (VAT) and termed it "against industry".
"The PIA strongly protests against the repeated onslaught by the state government on trade and industry by introducing new laws that are directly hurting their interests," said Rakesh Goyal, PIA president, while addressing a press conference.
He said: "The new worksheet no 7 that has been added to the VAT 15 form is both specious and illegal."
"As per a government directive, the VAT input can be claimed only on the material that has been sold or used, which is against the very spirit of the VAT. The VAT on that material is paid by him to the seller at the time of purchase. Now, since the dealers have already paid the VAT to the seller, denial of input credit to him defies all reason and justification," said Goyal.
PIA members said the government was having indifferent attitude towards the business community.
"There have been nine amendments in the VAT laws in the last one year. The government is constantly looking for ways to further tighten the noose around business community. They have put all type of obstacles to throttle the payment of VAT refunds and implemented the 'refund payment verification' in four stages to put up bottlenecks. Now, they are complicating the matter further by refusing to give the input credit, said Goyal, adding: "It's not governance, but brute power."
He said as the Centre was aiming to bring the goods and services tax (GST), the Punjab government should keep status quo on the VAT act till implementation of GST.
He said: "PIA appeals to the government to withdraw this draconian law or else the trade and industry community will be forced to protest in the strongest manner possible." HPS Lamba, Naresh Gupta and other leading industrialists were also present on the occasion.