Giving reprieve to trade and industry of the state, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Wednesday announced the scrapping of 40,000 pending cases of VAT, out of total 48,000 cases related to financial year 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17, against traders and industrialists across the state. The government has introduced faceless assessment of GST and abolished institutional tax so as to promote business activities.
Addressing industrialists and prospective entrepreneurs on the second day of the Fourth Progressive Punjab Investors Summit in Ludhiana, Channi said that only 8,000 cases will be settled amicably by asking the concerned traders or industrialists to deposit 30% of the outstanding tax liability. Such traders will only have to deposit 20% of the aforesaid tax liability during current fiscal and the balance 80% by the next financial year. This initiative will boost their morale to invest in a big way, the chief minister said.
Assuring the best air connectivity in the region, Channi announced the foundation stone laying of an upcoming airport at Halwara on November 15, and said that the airport will be completed within eight months.
The state government has allowed faceless assessment of GST and VAT. Now traders and industrialists need not to be present physically before the tax officers. The number of officials in a mobile squad of tax department has been reduced from 14 to just four. Institutional tax in vogue since 2011 also stands abolished. Channi also announced a one-time settlement (OTS) scheme for the defaulters to be introduced in Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC), Punjab Financial Corporation (PFC) and Punjab Agro Industries Corporation (PAIC). An amnesty scheme will also be introduced for the plot holders of Punjab State Industries Export Corporation (PSIEC).