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HYC against VAT settlement with petrol pump dealers

Shillong, June 22: The Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) has asked the NPP-led MDA government to cancel the one-time settlement (OTS) scheme offered to petrol pump dealers who defaulted in paying the outstanding value-added tax (VAT).

In a letter addressed to Chief Minister Conrad  Sangma, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong and Taxation Minister James K Sangma, the HYC wanted the government  to take action against the defaulters.

“We urge upon your good office to reconsider the OTS scheme to petrol pump dealers and direct the department concerned to take necessary steps to realise all outstanding taxes and to take appropriate actions as per the relevant provisions of the law in case of willful defaulters or delay in making payments,” said the HYC general secretary, Roy Kupar Synrem.

The response of the NGO is after the taxation department decided to implement the OTS scheme for recovery of outstanding VAT from over 230 petrol pumps across the state.

According to Synrem, the taxation department failed to realise Rs 650 crore as VAT from the petrol pumps in the last 3 years.

“If the practice of OTS is to be extended to the petrol pumps in the state by waiving off 30% of the taxable amount, it will be a loss of around Rs 195 crore to the state’s revenue collection for the last 3 years,” he said.

The HYC leader questioned the taxation department for coming up with the OTS against the mandatory payment of tax.

The HYC said the department should pursue the matter in the competent court of law and realise the outstanding taxes as well as interests payable, if any, instead of providing them with the opportunity to pay less.

The HYC pointed out that the consumers at the time of refueling their vehicles from the petrol pumps have to pay the amount which is inclusive of the taxes as levied by the government.

“This means that we are paying an extra amount of about Rs 17-18 per litre of petrol or about Rs 12-13 per litre of diesel as VAT as per the rates fixed by the government”, Synrem said.

He said the taxable amount is being paid by the consumers and not by the dealers as a contribution towards the state’s development programmes.

“Therefore, how is it legal or logical that the hard earned money paid by the general public as contribution to the government in the form of taxes be given away to these dealers who are already earning commission from every litre of fuels that they sell?” he asked.

According to HYC, if at all the state government wants to waive off the taxes, it should come up with a scheme to refund the money taken from the consumers to them rather than waiving off taxes to the dealers as bonus which have already been paid by the people at the time of buying fuels from them.

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