Business Bureau ;
CAIT also demanded a financial package for traders and a moratorium of six months on loans taken from banks and other financial institutions
On the eve of much awaited GST Council meeting scheduled to be held today, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on May 27 sent a communication to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman urging her to extend the date of filing various GST returns without late fee and interest till August 2021 under the GST Act and Rules. CAIT also demanded a financial package for traders and a moratorium of six months on loans taken from banks and other financial institutions. CAIT National President B C Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal jointly said, “The current coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the business activities all over the country. It came at a time when the business fraternity was working hard to restore business to normal levels.
Suddenly, the second wave of coronavirus broke out in between in a most devastating manner leaving the traders in a financial crisis.” “Even if the lockdown in different States is relaxed, the restoration of normal business activities will take a longer time,” said the trade leaders. CAIT has demanded that Sitharaman and Finance Ministers of all States to waive off the late fee for filing returns, penalty for depositing tax, interest for depositing tax for the entire pandemic period. “The Challan should be made the basis of payment of tax and not the filing of the return. No cancellation of registrations should be resorted to unless there are pressing reasons or else it will derail the trade completely,” CAIT said. For all traders having turnover below Rs 20 crore in a year, no survey or audits or special assessments should be ordered for the years 17-18 and 18-19. The traders cannot afford this at present.
Authorities should be directed to be discreet before they arrest traders or attach their bank accounts or summon them for statements. There is an atmosphere of panic in the trade and these actions will further create a crisis unless there are very pressing and urgent reasons and justification for doing so. Bhartia and Khandelwal jointly demanded that all authorities in the country should be directed not to stop vehicles on technical grounds or errors in the e-way bills as long as the GST number of the recipient is mentioned, tax invoice is carried and the tax is charged. These instructions should remain till December 2021. For export related refunds State GST officials should be directed to ensure refunds are released immediately to overcome the liquidity crisis. And for IGST refund customs should be directed to release the refund without any delay. “Audits can always be done later in case there are reasons for further investigation. But at this time trade must be saved,” both the trade leaders said.