The state government claims about making the system of getting VAT refunds easy for industrialists notwithstanding, applications are piling up at the Excise and Taxation Department. The data available with the department shows that around 1,700 applications are pending in Ludhiana district I, II and III.
The District Excise and Taxation Commissioner, LK Jain, said since Ludhiana was one of the biggest districts, there was delay at times. The official claimed the entire backlog would be cleared by March 31. In Ludhiana District I, there is maximum number (900) of pending applications for VAT refund. The AETC (Ludhiana I), Rajpal Singh, said he had Rs 60 crore per month at his disposal and those cases were cleared on time. “We will clear the pending applications by March 31,” he said.
In Ludhiana District II, the the number of pending applications is minimum at 260. The AETC (Ludhiana II), Rajpal Kaur, said she had Rs 10 crore at her disposal and tried to clear all pending files simultaneously. In Ludhiana III, the number of pending applications is 526.
Jatinder Khurana, state president of the Indian Taxation Advocates Association, said they faced maximum problem while getting VAT refunds in Ludhiana I where files were pending for the past more than four months. “The documents of applicants are complete but they have to do the rounds of the office to know about the status of their VAT refunds. We have come to know that the inflow of funds by the head office is slow due to which the staff here seem helpless. But the capital of industrialists get blocked due to the delay in refunds. Moreover, the department hardly shows interest to overcome the delay and businessmen suffer unnecessarily,” said Khurana.
The businessmen said though the state government claimed to provide refunds within the stipulated time, these were never released on time.