BILL AIMED AT PLUGGING LOOPHOLES TO BENEFIT TRADERS AND INCREASE REVENUE: CHEEMA
The Finance, Planning, Excise and Taxation Minister, Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema tabled this bill in the House which was passed with thumping majority.
Launching a scathing attack on the opposition for creating unwarranted hue and cry in the House, Cheema said that previous governments had not made any effort to improve the financial health of the state exchequer.
“Now, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann led Punjab Government has plugged all the loopholes and stopped bogus billing, which will not only benefit the traders but will also increase the revenue of the state,” he said.
Revealing the importance of the amendments made in the Bill, Harpal Singh Cheema said that tax evaders will be dealt severely. He said that to check the menace of bogus billing and fraudulent ITC, Section 16 of the Act has been amended to empower the State Government to restrict the availment of ITC by the taxpayer. “To facilitate ease of doing business, time period for availment of ITC has been extended to thirtieth day of November following the end of the financial year in which the supply is carried out, or furnishing of the relevant annual return, whichever is earlier”, he added.
The Finance Minister said that rationalising the furnishing of returns by the taxpayers, amendment has been passed to be carried in section 37, 38 and 39 of the Act. He said Section 39 amended to provide for furnishing of details of outward supplies as a condition for furnishing the return to check the menace of bogus billing and fraudulent ITC and to improve compliance.
He further added that late fees is introduced for late filing of statement by taxpayers who are Tax collectors such as e-commerce operators to improve compliance. He said that Section 49 has been amended for improving compliance to empower the government to prescribe restrictions on utilization of ITC by taxpayer.
The Finance Minister said that to facilitate ease of doing business, Section 50 has been retrospectively amended to limit the levy of interest only on the ITC wrongly availed and utilized. He further added that section 54 is amended to provide that time period for claim of such refund shall be two years from the furnishing of return to streamline refunds to SEZ Unit or Developer.
Notably, the Union Government, on the recommendation of the GST Council, had amended the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 through the Finance Act, 2022. Similar changes are proposed to be carried out in the Punjab Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017.