Three days since the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was rolled out, technical issues related to registration on the website continue to haunt users. Majority of the 30 complaints received by the Pune Zone’s GST office pertained to the technical issues with officers hoping for a quick resolution of the matter.
Rolled out on July 1, GST has replaced more than 18 existing laws. Erstwhile assesses of various taxes, like Value Added Tax (VAT), service charge etc had to migrate to the GST network and generate their own unique ID. Rajlakshmi Kadam, deputy commissioner, GST Pune Zone, said that the work for migration started since November and till date 90 per cent of the assesses has already successfully migrated to the GST network. “We are facilitating the migration of the remaining assesses also,” she said.
A special email ID has been created by the department to address complaints and till Monday, 30 such complaints were received with around 50 per cent of the complaints related to technical issues regarding GST IDs. Complaints related to the IDs were forwarded to the necessary department for further action.
One of the first effects of GST for Pune was the sudden hike in the restaurant bills. Hoteliers cited the new slabs of 12 and 18 per cent to justify their increase in the bills. Kadam, however, said any increase in the hotel bills was uncalled for as the hoteliers were getting offsets on the GSTs for both goods and services they use. “Right from purchase of raw materials and usage of services like security agency, telephones and internet, the hoteliers can claim for offset from his GST slab,” she said. Asked about possible action against hoteliers who are hiking their bills in the guise of GST, Kadam referred to the anti-profiteering clause in the GST Act. “A special committee is to be formed to look into the complaints and once it is formed necessary action will be taken,” she said. Shopkeepers who charge over the printed Maximum Retail Price (MRP), Kadam said, could face legal action.
Pune zone, which covers the districts of Pune, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Solapur, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and the state of Goa, has also seen the appointment of district-wise zonal office which will be looking after the complaints of overcharging.
Introducing: GST agents!
The GST seva kendra operating at the GST Bhavan has apparently started attracting touts. The agents, claiming to be Chartered Accountants (CAs), were seen coaxing visitors to accept their services for migration and the new GST ID. The fees ranged from Rs 5,000-7,000. Kadam said their office will take action against such agents.