LG Inaugurates GST Symposium & Tax Awareness Initiative ‘Kar-Tavya’

SRINAGAR:  Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Wednesday inaugurated the GST symposium and Tax awareness initiative ‘Kar-Tavya’ for industries, traders associations, DDOs & other stakeholders, at the Convention Center.

The GST symposium is being organized by J&K State Taxes Department in collaboration with The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

The Lt Governor said the outreach to help and guide the stakeholders & taxpayers to build synergy and to achieve the prime objective to set J&K on a high growth trajectory. A systematic approach by the State Taxes Department to simplify regulatory compliances has led to revenue augmentation and improved ease of doing business for the stakeholders. Such symposium and awareness drive will further stimulate the rate of compliance & productive capacity, added the Lt Governor.

“We are following the Prime Minister’s mantra of Transform, Reform & Perform to build a prosperous & Atmanirbhar J&K. It is the collective responsibility of citizens and business enterprises to unlock potential and drive J&K’s economic growth,” said the Lt Governor.

The reforms and policies focus on the protection and empowerment of the common man. Our long-term economic development policies are aimed at reducing inequalities for the welfare of society. Robust growth in business sectors will benefit society as a whole, the Lt Governor observed.

It is imperative to ensure that economic growth through stabilization of the tax revenues is ensured at all levels. At the same time it should also be ensured that habit gets inculcated in every business enterprise & consumers to pay taxes with pride, he added. We must achieve the target of 100% GST tax coverage. Every taxpayer must come forward and contribute towards nation-building, LG said.

GST realized the dream of One Nation, One Tax, and guaranteed revenue flow to the states. I express my heartfelt gratitude to the business community and citizens of Jammu Kashmir for their cooperation & invaluable contribution to the development of J&K, the Lt Governor said.

Observing that increased business activities are required for long-term economic development and strengthening food security & generating employment opportunities, the Lt Governor highlighted the effective steps taken by the administration for improving Ease of Doing Business, facilitating the expansion of the existing units & set up of new industries & businesses and extending the benefits of amnesty schemes. The reason for buoyancy in the revenue is due to several measures taken by the State Taxes Department like the establishment of GST Facilitation Centers (GST Suvidha Kendras), District Level Awareness Programmes for the Stakeholders across the UT of J&K, Co-ordination Meetings between Central GST and UT GST authorities, etc. The State Taxes Department has adopted a promotional approach rather than a regulatory one and is continuously focusing on capacity building, the Lt Governor noted.

Jammu Kashmir has taken a giant leap in the industrial sector and investments from big companies from India & abroad continue to flow into the UT for industrial activities. Within two years, we have received investment proposals worth Rs 66,000 crores. In the last 6 months, one industrial-business unit has commenced its operation every day. This reflects the true picture of new & aspirational Jammu and Kashmir, the Lt Governor said.

The Lt Governor reiterated the government’s commitment to developing more land for industries. Every facility will be extended to 18 industrial estates in the future. I want more people from J&K to set up industries and avail the benefit of the industrial development scheme, he added.

Responding to the demand of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India for land for the center of excellence, the Lt Governor announced that the land will be allotted for the said purpose.

The Lt Governor further shared the vision of the UT Government for accelerating growth in various sectors. We are working with an integrated approach for the development of all sectors, he added.

The Lt Governor also spoke on efforts of the government to generate employment and livelihood opportunities for the youth.

More than 30000 vacant government posts have been filled in the last three years. And wherever any wrong was found, a CBI inquiry has been initiated. The recruitment for another 20,000 posts in administration will be advertised in 3-4 months, the Lt Governor informed.

We want to saturate self-employment in J&K. Youth were identified from every panchayat and town of the UT, and in a single day, 75000 youth were provided more than Rs 939 cr financial assistance. More than 6 lakh women have been connected with NRLM, he noted.

The Lt Governor urged the people to not fall prey to certain vested interests spreading false information and creating misconceptions around anti-encroachment drives, power generation, and property tax.

No poor will be touched during anti-encroachment drives but no influential encroacher will be spared. The encroached land retrieved by the government will be utilized for the welfare of the common man and schools, colleges, hospitals, and sports facilities will be developed on the retrieved land, said the Lt Governor.

The Lt Governor also shared the facts in detail regarding the imposition of property tax in the UT. The property tax in Jammu and Kashmir is the lowest as compared to other states. There are around 5, 20,000 houses in the cities of J&K. Out of these, 2,06,000 houses are less than 1000 sq ft and no tax is being imposed on them. No tax on 40% of the people living in cities, rural and religious places. 2,03,600 houses are less than 1500 sq ft and 80% of these households will have to pay less than Rs 600 per annum. This amount is one-tenth of the tax amount being paid in Shimla, Ambala, and Dehradun, the Lt Governor said.

46,000 out of 1,01,000 shops in city areas are less than 100 sq ft and they will have to pay up to Rs 700 per annum. Out of these 46,000 shops, 80% will have to pay a meager Rs 600 per annum/ Rs 50 per month. 30,000 shops will have to pay taxes below Rs 2000 per annum and out of these, 20,000 will have to pay less than Rs 1500 which is also one-tenth of the amount being paid in Shimla, Ambala, and Dehradun, he noted.

Revenue will directly go to the accounts of municipalities and corporations. This step has been taken to make our cities an engine of growth, he added.

The Lt Governor also invited suggestions from all sections of society concerning better arrangements in property tax. Our doors are open. Everyone must come forward in making J&K a dynamic and developed region of the country, he added.

On the occasion, the Lt Governor unveiled Kar-Tavya periodical and Kar-Tavya booklet and also handed over the Letter of Appreciation to organizations and top taxpayers of the UT.

Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Dr. Rashmi Singh, Commissioner Sales Taxes; Sh Ranjit Kumar Agarwal, National VP, Institute of Chartered Accountants India (ICAI) and other senior officers and various stakeholders were present on the occasion. (KNS)

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