The Tamil Nadu government on Monday said a cell has been formed to redress the grievances of the public following the implementation of Goods and Services Tax, as it faced complaints of overcharging. It also warned of “stern action” against those charging rates beyond the stipulated GST.
“If anybody charges levies beyond GST, stern action will be taken against them,” Finance Minister D Jayakumar told reporters in Chennai. He said action will also be taken if additional rates were charged for commodities exempted from the GST. “A complaint cell has been formed with state Commercial Taxes department for this purpose and people can inform the government on any GST related issues in this regard,” he said. Jayakumar also sought people’s cooperation to tide over any such problems.
In reply to a query on the strike called by Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners’ Association that has led to the closure of over 1,000 cinema halls all over the state, he said discussions were being held to sort out the issue. “The tax of 30 per cent is in addition to the GST Tax rates, theatres are shut due to our inability to pay taxes,” Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners and Distributors Association President, Abhirami Ramanathan said. He said the association was awaiting a response from the state government.
The GST, which came into effect from last Saturday, 18 per cent has been fixed for tickets below Rs 100 and 28 per cent for tickets above Rs 100. It may be recalled that senior Congress leader P Chidambaram had criticised the GST in its present form saying it has many “defects” and that its implications will be known only in “due course.”
DMK working president M K Stalin had said his party has been maintaining that traders should be given time to switch over to GST and talks must be held with them. Based on their feedback, appropriate steps should be taken by the government and “whatever needs to be done should be done and we will welcome it,” he said.