The call of Bharat Vyapar Bandh on forthcoming 26th February by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT)against draconian and arbitrary provision of GST has received tremendous response across the Country not only from the trade associations but the bodies of tax practitioners, chartered accountants, MSME and other verticals of domestic trade have also come out in support of the call of Bharat Vyapar Bandh. It shows the high level gross resentment in people of the Country against current state of GST which is called as Good & simple tax, much away from the ground reality.
The traders across Country are deeply agitated over recent amendments made in GST rules vide Notification No. 01/2021 – Central Tax New Delhi, the 1st January, 2021 & Notification No. 94 /2020 – Central Tax New Delhi, the 22nd December, 2020 which has given arbitrary and unfettered powers to the GST officials. The CAIT while terming it as a colonial taxation system regretted that these powers are against the letter and spirit of the Indian Constitution, Principle of Natural Justice and Indian jurisprudence system.
CAIT National President Mr. B.C.Bhartia & Secretary General Mr. Praveen Khandelwal said that the above two Notifications restricts smooth conduct of business activities of the traders. The CAIT has a firm view that the Indian Constitution guarantee Right to Trade to every citizen but contrary to it, the powers entrusted to GST officials to restrict business activities forced to smell dictatorial approach. Against the fundamental right given by the Constitution, a businessman cannot be restricted from filing his returns for any reason nor can he be deprived of the Input credit for the taxes already paid against its inward supplies and also his number cannot be suspended without providing him any show cause notice or without giving an opportunity of hearing. He can be charged with interest and penalty, late fee for the delay which the government is already doing.
Mr. Bhartia & Mr. Khandelwal said that section 16(2)(aa) announced in the Budget is against the basic structure and spirit of GST. According to this section if the detail of such invoice or debit note has been not furnished by the supplier in GSTR-1 or using IFF / GSTR-2B, the recipient will not get ITC. No provision for claim of Input Tax Credit after time expired i.e. six months from end of the year under Section 16(4) is highly detrimental and against the right to claim the eligible ITC which can not be restricted by limitation of time. Amendment section 129(1) (a) seeks to enhance penalty from 100% to 200% for releasing of detained or seized goods and conveyance though there was a provision of tax and penalty only earlier. An amendment is made in section 107 of the CGST which says that to file an appeal against the order under section 129 minimum penalty of 25% has to be paid which means till the appeal is not decided the goods will remain detained. The Goods seized shall not be released on provisional basis upon execution of a bond and furnishing security in such manner. This means the penalty has to be paid in cash by the taxpayer u/s 129(2) if he wants the goods to be released. The explanation proposed to be added in section 75(12) of CGST Act will create undue hardship for the assesses. As per amendment if by mistake an assesses shows wrong figure in GSTR-1and GSTR -3B the difference will be treated as his self assessed tax and the recovery of the same can be made directly under section 79 without issuing any show cause notice. Since there is no provision to revise the return, it will affect the business adversely
Both Mr. Bhartia & Mr. Khandelwal said that now, input credit will be availed only when the supplier files his return and intimate the purchaser about it. It means that documents filed have no value and it is valid only if supplier intimate the purchaser about his filing of return. The excessive powers to GST officers is used as offensive tool for threatening traders and will become cause of corruption. As per Budget announcement, from 1st July,2021 before deducting TDS, the traders need to verify whether the supplier has filed TDS returns for last two years or not and the supplier has to take a declaration from the purchaser. Even after four years of implementation, the GST portal is suffered with various glitches and is a unstable tax portal but instead of penalizing the operators of GST portal, the traders are penalized even for a mistake which has not committed by them. Further, since the introduction of GST in the Country, more than 900 changes have been introduced from time to time due to which the GST taxation system has become extremely complicated and has lost its sanctity.