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UP: ‘Post GST breather helps traders evade taxes’

“Some unscrupulous traders are taking undue advantage of the grace period to evade tax as much as possible.”

lucknow Updated: Aug 26, 2017 16:13 IST
Brajendra K Parashar
Brajendra K Parashar
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Post GST,Breather,Tax envasion
“The possibility of more tax evasion this year is very much there since checking of consignments has been suspended for three months.”

A section of traders is allegedly taking advantage of the commercial tax department’s directive to its enforcement wings not to conduct raids on business establishments or stop trucks for checking for three months from the Goods and Service Tax rollout.

Points to be noted
  • The sources claimed traders were piling up their stock, especially in view of an anticipated bumper sale during the festivals of Dussehra and Diwali in September and October. There is no system to check whether tax is being paid for the goods and commodities they are importing.
  • The commercial tax department’s special investigation branch and mobile squad unit, as well as its police cell, were all idle these days due to the three-month breather.
  • The sources claimed that officials received an anonymous phone call only two days ago, alerting them about a few suspected Haryana trucks with consignments entering UP but they did not take note of the tip-off.
  • A senior officer, indicated a full-scale drive against tax-evasion might begin after the three-month grace period ends in October.

“Tax evasion is suspected to be at an all-time high in the state these days with traders exploiting the three-month grace period to their advantage and the state’s disadvantage,” a senior official in the commercial department said.

“The idea was to put traders at ease during the transitional period so that they smoothly switched over to the new tax system without being unnecessarily apprehensive of its provisions,” said sources.

“However, some unscrupulous traders are taking undue advantage of the grace period to evade tax as much as possible,” they said.

The sources claimed traders were piling up their stock, especially in view of an anticipated bumper sale during the festivals of Dussehra and Diwali in September and October. There is no system to check whether tax is being paid for the goods and commodities they are importing.

“This is, anyway, the time when traders procure large consignments of grocery goods, garments and other commodities using unfair means every year before Diwali and Dussehra,” Bharat Singh, a retired additional commercial tax commissioner, said.

“The possibility of more tax evasion this year is very much there since checking of consignments has been suspended for three months,” he added.

Sources said the commercial tax department’s special investigation branch and mobile squad unit, as well as its police cell, were all idle these days due to the three-month breather.

The sources claimed that officials received an anonymous phone call only two days ago, alerting them about a few suspected Haryana trucks with consignments entering UP but they did not take note of the tip-off.

“We just ignore such calls that we receive every day because we know that our hands are tied for now,” said another official.

A senior officer, however, indicated a full-scale drive against tax-evasion might begin after the three-month grace period ends in October.

“We are aware of the situation and will prepare a plan accordingly,” said the official who refused to be named. He said there were also complaints that many chemists were not issuing bills to customers. “All such practices will be sternly dealt with,” he said.

First Published: Aug 26, 2017 16:13 IST