Rajendra Mulak, minister of state for finance, has announced that a single window system, focusing on resolving grievances related to value added tax (VAT), will start operations on Monday in the sales tax office building. It will have three deputy commissioners VP Gavai, SB Lahane and Pranjali Kadu and sales tax officer Mangesh Kate. The cell will be located in the sales tax office building.
Mulak had held a pre-budget meeting with local trade and industry bodies to know about their problems and expectations from the 2013-14 state budget. Representatives of large number of organizations participated in the meeting.
The problems regarding VAT was raised by Praful Doshi, president of Vidarbha Industries Association (VIA). Representatives of other organizations said that their members too encountered similar problems. Mulak then announced his decision.
After the meeting, the minister addressed a press conference and told the media that the sales tax department had purchased new software to expedite refund to the tax payers. "The cases pertaining to 2010-11 have been dealt with. Now, we are dealing with 2011-12 cases. The software will speed up things."
Members of VIA, Nag Vidarbha Chamber of Commerce (NVCC), MIDC Industries Association (MIA), etc had demanded uniformity in taxes across the state. Mulak told them that a government decision was required on the issue. "A meeting of the finance department will be held on March 6. This issue will be discussed in the meeting. Changes would be made in the budget to reduce hassles for businesspersons."
Dealers of surgical items urged the minister to levy uniform 5% VAT on surgical items. As on date, 5% VAT is levied on notified surgical items and 12.5% on the rest. He said that this was a policy decision and would be considered in the budget.
The local industrialists also demanded that government departments should purchase the goods required by them at local level to give industries in Vidarbha a fillip. The MoS told the media, "I will talk to MSEDCL managing director Ajoy Mehta. If quality goods are manufactured by local industries then we will buy from them."
The other demands raised during the meeting was levying professional tax only on persons earning more than Rs 10,000 per month. VAT is levied on construction industry in three stages and it should be levied only at one stage. Rice Mill Association demanded that 5% VAT on rice processing should be waived off as people were taking rice to Chhattisgarh as there was no duty there.