September 28, 2020

Focus on traders with fat turnovers

Patna: The commercial taxes department in Bihar is aiming to script a 35 per cent growth in its tax collection by generating revenue of Rs 27,000 crore in 2018-19.

Now, the department is charting out the broader strategy to usher in the desired growth at a time when the new tax regime – the Goods and Services Tax (GST) – has come into play.

As part of the exercise, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who heads the department, on Thursday held a meeting with field officials and came up with a few suggestions to them for meeting the desired goal.

He directed the officials to focus on traders with large turnover as it has been observed that they contribute a big chunk of the taxes collected in the state. In 2016-17 fiscal when the GST had not come into play, 36 traders having turnover of more than Rs 500 crore had contributed 46.41 per cent of the total tax revenue generated and if one takes into account traders having turnover of more than Rs 50 crore, their number was 597 and they contributed 73 per cent of the tax revenue generated. The state had generated Rs 18,751 crore through commercial taxes in the said year. Though the comparative figures for 2017-18 when the GST came into play from July are not available, one thing is clear that in this year the state could generate revenue of Rs 17,236 only and it was compensation of Rs 3,041 crore from the Centre which helped the state to achieve the figure of Rs 20,277 crore in total.

A senior official in the commercial taxes department, who was present in the meeting, revealed that during the meeting the deputy chief minister also directed the field officials to ensure that registered traders file their return in time and to take steps for addressing the difficulties which traders might be facing while filing the return.

According to official figures there are 3 lakh registered traders in Bihar out of which around 90,000 have opted for composite scheme, meant for traders having annual turnover up to Rs 1.5 crore. In terms of returns, only about 60 per cent of the registered traders are filing returns.

The participating officials were also directed to ensure compliance of the e-way bill system for checking incidences of tax evasion but at the same time they were also warned against harassing any trader in the name of the system.

Traders are supposed to generate e-way bill if they are transporting goods worth Rs 50,000 or more from one state to another whereas in case of intra-state transportation the need of e-way bill arises if the transported goods is worth Rs 2 lakh or more.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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