Himachal Traders on strike today over tax slabs under GST

Shimla, June 30: Even as the state government hopes to register 15 per cent increase in its tax collection from the Goods & Services Tax (GST) to be launched from July 1, traders have decided to observe a peaceful bandh on Friday. They demanded that the Centre should increase tax threshold limit to Rs 20 lakh, composite sale limit to Rs 75 lakh and they should be allowed to file single income tax return in three months and computerisation should not be made compulsory in the state.

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“We do not oppose the GST. But what is pinching us in Himachal is that if it is ‘one nation, one tax’, why the Centre has fixed different threshold limits for traders in Himachal,” said Somesh Kumar, president, Himachal Beopar Mandal.“

Traders and businessmen should get threshold limit of Rs 20 lakh not Rs 10 lakh fixed for Himachal,” he added.Kumar said they welcomed the GST, but traders here should be treated on par with their counterparts in the rest of the country. “We will observe a peaceful band in support of the All-India Beopar Mandal call.

We will submit our memorandum to the Prime Minister and Finance Minister seeking changes for Himachal, including other common demands of the traders in the rest of the country,” he added.He said traders should be allowed to file single IT return in three months rather than three monthly returns every month being made compulsory under the GST regime.“Almost 75 per cent of traders do not know computers and cannot afford them. Thus, they should waive off compulsory computerisation,” he added.

However, the state Excise and Tax Department hopes to harvest an increase of 15 per cent in its present revenue of Rs 6,300 crore netted in 2016-17 by implementing the GST from July 1.Luxury items, including consumer durable goods, pan masala, tobacco and its products will attract GST of 28 per cent, the highest GST tax slab under the new GST regime in the state.

The GST for standard goods and services would yield GST of 12 per cent to 18 per cent depending on the goods and services, an official said.“The mass consumption items will cost more as consumers will have to pay GST of 5 per cent. Health insurance is expected to be costly as insurers will have to pay 18 per cent GST as against the 15 per cent service tax being paid earlier,” he added.

Source Tribune India