BENGALURU: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has directed officials to ensure that all traders who have registered under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system pay their taxes or face action. At a review meeting with the departments of Excise, Transport, Stamps and Registration and Commercial Taxes on Tuesday, Siddaramaiah sought to know the developments related to collection of tax after GST was rolled out. On the progress in Commercial Taxes, he said a review will be held again next month and he wanted to see an increase in the number of returns filed.
“You are all senior officers and it is your responsibility to see that more traders file their returns. I will not hear your excuses in the next meeting,” he warned. He said it was not right that businesses with revenues of more than `100 crore were ensuring taxes were being paid by their customers, but they had not filed returns. The officers were also told not to keep appeals from traders pending for more than two years and dispose of them before that.
Pub closure no excuse
Siddaramaiah refused to heed to the explanation of Excise officials that revenue was down due to the closure of pubs along the areas certified as highways, following a Supreme Court order. In certain districts, pubs had been closed, but revenues had gone up so it was not applicable, he reasoned and also directed that bar licences should be issued before September 15, according to Supreme Court order and should not be delayed under any circumstances.
Transport Commissioner Dayanand informed Siddaramaiah that they had collected `2,360 crore out of the target of `6,000 crore for the year and so far seemed to be the one department that had not fallen short of its resource mobilisation targets. According to officials in the Stamps and Registration Department, drought and demonetisation has killed property registration in all districts except Bengaluru. However, officials expected their targets to be met by December as the slump was expected to ease over the next five months.Mines and Geology Department also reported they had achieved 90%of its target.