J-K: Drabu sets mid-August deadline for traders to switch to GST

Srinagar, Jul 17 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu today set mid-August as the operational target for traders in the state to migrate to the GST as he directed the administration successfully implement the new tax regime.

“The biggest deterrent in the implementation of GST was the apprehension within the business community about erosion of the state’s fiscal autonomy which has been taken care of,” he said during a meeting here.

“Now, the government functionaries at district level must take traders, businessmen, small scale industries and consumers on board for smooth transition from VAT to GST and they should achieve these targets by mid-August,” he added.

Drabu set the immediate operational target to achieve cent percent registration of businesses under GST and directed the district administrations to work towards successful implementation of the new tax regime in the state which will be beneficial for the consumers.

“All stakeholders should register for the GST which is not just a tax number but business identification number that will strengthen the trade and establish them within their respective sectors, market places and consumers,” he said.

The finance minister asked the district administrations to organise regular awareness camps, orientation programmes and identify major points of concern prevailing in their areas and address them.

Besides, major concerns can be brought into the notice of finance secretary or chief secretary for further deliberations, he said.

Drabu said the state is in a phase of transition from the Value Added Tax (VAT) to the GST which would take six to eight months to stabilise.

Responding to concerns of traders regarding lack of technically-proficient people in the districts, he said the GST is based on a self assessment model under which only five percent of total businesses can be audited.

He said one of the biggest apprehensions regarding GST is that a person needs to file three returns in a month but a trader only needs to file one return in a month with other two being auto generated by the system.

The finance minister said the state government has proposed use of ‘khidmat’ (help) centres as GST updating centres to supplement local traders and simplify the transition to the new tax regime.

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