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Troubled by the delay in VAT refunds, Ludhiana businessmen send ultimatum to government

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The local industry is sore over delaying tactics of the state government, has sent an ultimatum to the government to clear their pending VAT refunds within one month or be ready to face the consequences.

President of the Federation of Industrial and Commercial Organisation (FICO) Gurmit Singh Kular said, “Earlier too, over Rs 80 crore of VAT refund was released by the Punjab Government when FICO had announced to start with an agitation. After that, we waited for long, but to date, no refund was cleared by the government. Officials in the Treasury Department maintain that since there are no funds in the department, they cannot help in any way.”

The industry maintains that because of the blocked pending VAT returns, businesses are suffering as huge capital of the industry is blocked. CICU General Secretary Pankaj Sharma said, “The industry is paying a huge amount as interests on loans while their own capital gets blocked by the government. How can the industry flourish in such a scenario?”

Kular added that FICO had sent a representation to the government on this issue. He said, “If the government fails to pay the VAT refunds within 30 days, we will resort to agitation and the government will be held responsible for it. It has become difficult for all to work without capital, which is blocked. The government representatives have already given several assurances of releasing VAT refunds, but no promises have been fulfilled. The government has got empty coffers, it seems.”

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