Srinagar: In October 2017, the Jammu and Kashmir government had assured an incentive to reimburse the entire state goods and services tax (SGST) and Central GST (CGST) to industrialists from Jammu and Kashmir.
The reimbursement has stopped, leaving industrialists short of money.
Allegedly, the reason for the delay is deputed officer’s fear to come to the valley for security reasons.
While GST caused inconvenience to local businessmen of the valley, the announcement of reimbursement of the tax money back to these taxpayers in order to help them compete in the market was music to ears of many industrialists. For the first two quarters, the government fulfilled its promise by reimbursing the money back within a week of their paying the tax.
However, for the past three quarters no reimbursement has taken place, leaving industrialists either short of capital money or overburdened while paying interest on the loans they have acquired from Jammu and Kashmir Bank.
“After GST’s roll-out, the excise duty was replaced by GST, which has two equal components of CGST and SGST. The industries in J&K were granted subsidy under budgetary support through DIPP (Department of industrial policy promotion) against GST paid. The central government was to reimburse 58% and 42% was to be reimbursed by the state,” says President, Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir, Muhammad Ashraf Mir who on Tuesday appealed the Principal Secretary Finance Department, J&K Govt to refund the GST industrialists have submitted.
“Central government released funds provisionally for 6 months and further reimbursement was subject to inspection to be conducted by DIPP. We have been continuously following for inspection with Mr Sandeep Chowhan (concerned officer) so that our pending GST would be reimbursed, but till date, no inspection has been conducted in Kashmir valley despite the fact that units in Jammu have been inspected,” Mir writes in his application to the Principal Secretary.
Speaking to Free Press Kashmir (FPK), he says, “You know the reason. He inspected the Jammu province. He did not come to Kashmir as ‘he is scared’! If tourists can come to Kashmir, why can’t officers?”
Adding, he says that the J&K Bank had launched a scheme for industrialists in context to government’s decision to reimburse their money. However, those who have taken a loan from the bank are now paying interest on it as the money is not being refunded on time.
“In order for our capital to not suffer, the bank launched a scheme. So, we would get a loan from the bank against the amount we would pay to the government as GST. Since they are not reimbursing, we are paying interest to the bank also,” says Mir adding, “Crores of rupees have been paid to the government. Those who have not taken the loan from the bank, their capital is emptying out.”
The Principal Secretary, J&K was busy in a meeting when FPK tried to approach him. However, according to Mir, he has assured to release the money soon.
“He just called me saying that they are moving this file,” says Mir.