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VAT dilemma for traders
May, 22nd 2009

In the absence of any state notification on value-added tax (VAT) on foodgrain, traders are finding themselves in a spot.

The East Singhbhum district sales tax department has announced that it will press traders for filing returns. On the other hand, traders are hopeful that a new notification may waive tax provisions completely on foodgrain.

Officials of the district sales tax department said that today was the last date for filing sales tax returns for the month of April, from when the four per cent VAT on foodgrain items became effective.

Today is the last date for filing the tax returns for last month. From tomorrow, we will try to find out how many traders have paid taxes according to the new provision. In the next four to five days, we will press traders to pay value-added tax on foodgrain, according to the new rules, said Kartik Charan Jha, the joint commissioner of East Singhbhum district sales tax.

The VAT on foodgrain came to force as the state had failed to come out with a notification before March 31 for waiving the provision.

The East Singhbhum district sales tax department claims that the value-added tax on foodgrain would add around Rs 3 crore to its revenue this fiscal.

Meanwhile, city based traders said that the Arjun Munda government first implemented value-added tax on foodgrain and vegetables in 2006. But it was rolled back after protests from trade associations across the state.

They claimed that few traders were paying taxes according to the new provision, while few were still waiting for new notification from the state.

Officials of Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) said that the state had already given signals of coming out with a new notification that would waive the tax provisions on foodgrain items.

The governor has assured us that they will come out with a fresh notification of rolling back this tax. Few of the traders have not paid their taxes and are waiting for the new notification expected in the first week of June, said Suresh Sonthalia, the vice-president (PRW), Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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