Industrialists in Ludhiana accuse tax department of delaying VAT refunds
November, 16th 2015
In spite of the excise and taxation department's policy of paying 0.50 per cent interest to industrialists in case their VAT refund is delayed by more than 60 days, industrialists are neither being paid any interest, nor are they being given any reason for the delay.
Accusing officers of flouting rules and harassing industrialists, president of Fasteners Manufacturers Association of India, Narinder Bhamra, said: "There are thousands of VAT refund cases in the department's Ludhiana office, which are pending for the past few months. This problem is more prevalent because some officers process out-of-turn files in lieu of commission. As a result, huge amounts of our VAT refunds are stuck with the department. Non-payment of interest on our pending refunds - even after there is a clear-cut rule for the same - is like adding insult to injury. If the government can penalize industrialists for making a default in payment, why can't officers be punished for not obeying rules?"
Demanding an enquiry against officers, Rajneesh Ahuja, president, Focal Point Industrial Sheds Association, said: "The VAT refund of my firm is pending for the past four months now, and that too without any reason specified by the department. This is happening in spite of clear-cut rules, which shows the apathetic approach of the officers towards industrialists, because of whom the government is earning crores of rupees in revenue. Our association has already written to the deputy chief minister, and we hope action is taken against the erring officers."
Speaking on the issue, Anurag Verma, excise and taxation commissioner, Punjab, said: "I have received complaints of pendancy of VAT refunds in range-3 of our Ludhiana office, and so we have given charge to assistant excise and taxation commissioner (AETC)-2 for faster processing of refunds. In cases of non-payment of interest which remain pending for more than 60 days without reason, the tax-payers can either complain to the deputy excise and taxation commissioner (DETC), or even contact me."