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Punjab still does not have a scheme to settle legacy tax issues



After the implementation of goods and services tax (GST) Punjab is yet to introduce schemes to settle legacy tax issues. States like Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and even northern states, such as Haryana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, have already introduced settlement schemes to settle legacy tax issues.

The scheme was introduced to expedite the disposal of the legacy issues, resulting in the generation of revenue stuck due to non-disposal of assessment cases or arrears under litigation. Secondly, it was felt that it would help release considerable manpower engaged in legacy issues and make available more manpower for improving compliances under GST.

The Central Government introduced Sabka Vishwas (Legacy Dispute Resolution) Scheme, 2019 (SVLDRS), with an intention to focus on GST by clearing all litigations and cases pending at various fora with respect to the previous tax regime, especially the central excise and service tax. The scheme was closed on January 15. It was launched also with a view to de-stress the courts by way of reduction in the long-pending disputes.

The Central and state schemes have provided certain immunities and incentives to the applicants. The Central Government under the scheme has provided a waiver of tax dues ranging from 40 percent to 70 percent along with a complete waiver of penalty and interest and waiver from prosecution.

On being asked if Punjab has any plan to introduce such a scheme, a senior official in the excise department informed, “We are working on the modalities and the scheme pertaining to legacy issue is at a conceptual stage.” “The government must bring out such a scheme to resolve legacy tax issues. The cases where “C” form has not been produced, especially in the case of Jammu & Kashmir, the government should allow to be deemed assessed by the assesses,” said Piara Lal Seth, general secretary, Shawl Club (India).