STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: The State Taxes Department, Jammu has initiated a full-fledged inquiry into large scale goods and services tax evasion by railway bogie leaseholders. Additional Commissioner, State Taxes, Administration and Enforcement, Jammu, Mohammed Shahid Saleem has sought cooperation from the railway authorities under Section 72 of the J&K GST Act and Central GST Act which provides that all officers of the Police, Railways, Customs and those officers engaged in the collection of land revenue including village officers shall assist the Tax Officers in implementation of GST Act. The State Taxes Department, Jammu has already vide communication No.ACSTJ/Adm/Misc./ PA/266-269 dated December 19, 2018 has sought intervention of the Railway authorities at Jammu to allow the officers / officials of the State Taxes Department to function from the agreed location at Parcel Site, Railway Station, Jammu to check evasion of tax. The State Tax Department in a statement issued on Tuesday mentioned that on February 10, 2019 the enforcement team of the State Taxes Department conducted a surprise check at Railway Station Udhampur on the basis of specific inputs that huge consignments of Beedis, Readymade Garments, Vehicle Spare parts, etc are being shipped to the State through Jammu Mail and are destined to Udhampur. “Acting on this input all the commodities were seized at Railway Station Udhampur after inventorizing the whole lot and at present are under custody of State Taxes Department for further penal action under the GST law. It is apt to mention here that this seizure was performed while facing stiff resistance from the Railway Police Force employees stationed at Udhampur who tried their best to ensure that these illegally transported consignments are not handed over to the State Taxes Department, an illegal action which attracts penalty under Section 132 (g) of the SGST and CGST Acts, 2017. The railway authorities at Udhampur however gave full cooperation and ensured seizure of the goods by the State Taxes Department. The approximate value of the goods seized is more than Rs.25 lakh”, the statement added. “Akin to aforesaid seizure, on February 6, 2019, 50 parcels of Pan Parag/ Pan Masala were unloaded at Platform No. 1 at Railway Station, Jammu out of which only 16 were having proper GST documents and were transported outside the Railway Station by the concerned. However, it was found that 32 parcels of Pan Masala, which were not accompanying the mandatory GST documents, were rebooked at the Station itself and transported outside the State to avoid its seizure by the State Tax Officials. This practice has been adopted by the leaseholders and noticed time and again by this Department and all this is possible only with the connivance of the lower level Railway personnel posted at Railway Station, Jammu,” statement averred adding that the action attracts penalty under Section 132 of the CGST and SGST Acts, 2017. To act tough against such illegal practices, the State Taxes Department is conducting a thorough inquiry in the matter and has sought assistance of the Railway authorities in getting information and action thereafter. “The information sought includes detail of all the leaseholders who are involved in transshipment of commodities through all railway bogies coming into J&K from rest of the country with their GSTIN; commodities transshipped by the Railway Bogie leaseholders including Xtra Freight Forwarders, D-246, Gali No. 10, Near Metro Station, Laxmi Nagar Delhi-110092 (Pooja Express – 12414), SP Clearing & Forwarding 103-A, Block-A, DDA Flats, Sarai Kalekhan, Nizamudin East, New Delhi-110013 (Jammu Mail, 14033) and M/s Pardeep 805, Gali Door Wali Paharganj, New-Delhi-110055 (Jammu Mail, 14033 and Shalimar Express, 14645), to J&K from Delhi during the year 2017-18 and 2018-19 along with their GSTIN details and any commodity reaching J&K through railway bogies (leased) should never be allowed to be transported back to any other location out of the State to avoid State / Central Taxes”. Besides, the State Taxes Department, Jammu has also issued notices to aforesaid three main railway leaseholders asking them to furnish HSN wise summary of the Goods transported/booked for transportation from Jammu to Delhi and Delhi to Jammu for the period between July 2017 and January, 2019, individual/dealer wise consignments booked for Jammu from Delhi and vice versa for the aforesaid period, Ledger in respect of supply of services provided by them starting from July 1, 2017 to till date and account of lease/rent paid to the railways in lieu of lease rights from January 1, 2017 to January 31, 2019. The information has been sought within a week’s time failing which action under Goods and Services Tax laws shall be initiated including blacklisting and recommending cancellation of railway lease in their favour. “The State Taxes Department, Jammu has also taken up the matter with the Director, Vigilance, Police (Railway Board), New Delhi, Central Bureau of Investigation and Commissioner, Central Excise, Jammu to intervene in the matter for protecting the Central & State Goods & Services Tax from further evasion through Railways. Besides, the issue will be also brought to the notice of GST Council for required corrective measures”, the statement added.
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