Mumbai: A delegation of Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra Industries and Trade (CAMIT) led by Dipen Agrawal, President and Mohan Gurnani Chairman, met Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Friday 14th June 2019 and submitted a memorandum on various issues and challenges faced by Trade and Industries of Maharashtra.
Finance Minister listened carefully, took a serious note of all the issues and immediately instructed concern officers to resolve it satisfactorily.
Following issues were brought to the notice of Finance Minister and were forwarded to resolve.
1) Closure of Local Body Tax (LBT) Department in all Municipal Corporations:
Dipen Agrawal – President of CAMIT thanked Hon’ble CM, FM and GOM for abolishing LBT with effect from August 2015 and announcing an Amnesty scheme for assesses to discharge their LBT. He submitted that Many Local bodies are harassing businessmen in the pretext of LBT assessments and using it as a tool for corruption and extortion. The department in routine are passing ex-party (best judgment) orders raising inflated and fictitious tax demands and using them to justify continuance of LBT Department. Records from LBT Appellate Authority will evidence the correctness of our statement. The delegation demanded immediate closure of LBT department with immediate effect. FM agreed on above and informed that he also has received similar complaints from various cities and assured the delegation to take up this issue with Hon’ble. CM and resolve it at the earliest.
2) Extention of Settlement Scheme under Various Acts Administered by the Sales Tax Department.
Dipen Agrawal – President of CAMIT thanked The Finance Minister for accepting & approving the Settlement Scheme under Various Acts like BST, VAT, CST, P.T. Entry Tax etc. He demanded that for achieving the purpose of the Scheme at its best by both the State (Recovery of pending dues) and the Assessee to take the benefits, The Scheme should be Extended by 3 months.
FM agreed and assured the delegation that he will do the best and come up with a favourable solution shortly.
3) Abolishing Maharashtra Agriculture Produce Marketing (Development and Regulation) Act, 1963 (APMC Act):
The APMC Act was enacted to protect the interest of farmers and to protect them from being exploited by unscrupulous traders in traditional mandis. The farmer and the trader both needs maximum realization for their produce and thus now days almost in all centers farmers directly sell their produce to business establishments outside AMPC market for better realization. Hence the very motive of APMC has been defeated. The market committees have become breeding ground for corruption. The cess levied at multiple points on single commodity increases the cost of commodities for common man. Shri Mohan Gurnani – Chairman CAMIT demanded complete abolishment of APMC Act in the larger interest of Farmers and Traders.
Hon’ble FM took note of the issue and assured to discuss it with other stake holders, concern department and shall act for the benefit of society in general.
4) Abolishing Professional Tax:
Dipen Agrawal – President CAMIT briefed the issue to Hon’ble. FM. Professional Tax was introduced with the object of raising additional resources for implementing the then Employment Guarantee Scheme and to establish Employment Guarantee Fund. In recent scenario other populist scheme of government are taking care of above. Hence the business community in general and service class in particular strongly demands abolishing Professional Tax form our State.
Hon’ble. FM consulted GST Commissioner Rajeev Jalota, who was present in the meeting, on this and instructed him to study the impact of this demand on state revenue, CAMIT also, suggested that if they can not completely abolish Professional Tax than at least the limit should be increased to Rs. 20,000 per month or above to give immediate relief to salaried persons.
5) Review and rationalize the exorbitant increase in rent by Municipal Corporations.
Majority of Corporations in the State has unilaterally revised the rent of corporation owned shops/ottas ranging from 100 to 1000 times and in some cases more than 1000 times and on failure to concede this unilateral decision, authorities are threatening to dispossess the tenements, thereby adversely affecting the livelihood of many small and marginal traders and numerous self-employed (the only) bread earner of his family. Shri Mohan Gurnani – Chairman CAMIT and Shri Raju Rathi – Senior Vice President CAMIT submitted plight of tenants of many corporations.
In the interest of justice, equity and also on humanitarian ground CAMIT request Hon’ble FM to sympathetically review and rationalize the unilateral exorbitant increase in rent by Municipal Corporations to an acceptable level by all concerned.
Hon’ble. FM assured to look into the matter and also suggested if the tenants are ready to purchase these small shops / ottas than he should be informed and he can finalize the policy from which they can outright purchase the place and continue their business without fear of increase in rent. CAMIT confirmed to convey the offer to its members / tenants and get back.
6) Rehabilitation of tenements of Bombay Port Trust (BPT/MbPT):
Shri Nikunj Turakhia – Hon. General Secretary CAMIT supported and advocated the demand for rehabilitation of tenements in MbPT land to a suitable place with requisite facilities so as to enable them to respectfully maintain their livelihood including their employees.
The Hon’ble FM also supported this demand and assured his help on the issue.
7) Include Sawmills and Wood based Industries in the list of Non-Polluting Industry notified by MPCB:
Dipen Agarwal – President (CAMIT) justified in demanding level playing field for sawmill and wood based industry in our State and thus most humbly requested Honbl. FM to direct the authorities to classify sawmill and wood based industry as Non-polluting industry.
Hon’ble FM was convinced that saw mills should be exempted from taking consent from MPCB and hence assured to look into the matter and discuss the same with MPCB.
8) Hardship faced by Kalamboli Steel Warehousing Plot owners at the hands of CIDCO and Notify single authority for development of Kalamboli area.
Present day government was at the forefront in agitating the issue of single development authority for city of Nagpur, would support and do the needful to bring Kalamboli Market Area under single administrative authority i.e. Panvel Municipal Corporation. In order to save the plot owners from the whims and fancies of CIDCO, CAMIT once again at the cost of repetition request to transfer the area under the administrative control of Panvel Municipal Corporation and to announce an amnesty scheme for the plot owners of Kalamboli Steel Warehousing to regularize their plots at an affordable and reasonable charge. Shri Nikunj Turakhia – Hon. Gen. Secretary, Shri Saurabh Shah – Hon. Treasurer and Shri Mitesh Prajapati – Hon. Secretary CAMIT put forwarded the demand.
Hon’ble FM conveyed that he would personally discuss the issue with Ravindra Chavhan Guardian Minister and resolve the issue at the earliest.
9) Higher Electricity tariff adversely affecting Industries in Maharashtra.
Shri Raju Rathi – Sr. Vice President CAMIT briefed the Honbl. FM on increased electricity tariff compared to other states and raised a demand in relief by giving subsidy to sustain.
Hon’ble. FM conveyed that the limit of giving subsidy has exhausted, but he assured to find a way out and look into the demand favourably
10) Issues and Challenges in GSt portal causing difficulties and hardship to Trade and Industries:
Shri Mitesh Mody – President of All India Electronics Association along with Shri Javerchand Gala highlighted following issues and challenges in GST portal for rectification to reduced hardship to Trade and Industries.
a) Urgent need of GST Helpline Telephone numbers to address and resolve various GST queries and challenges. At present only email communication is there in the system. That too, they just forward our queries to Centre and do not resolve the issue on its own capacity.
b) During migration from VAT to GST, the VAT department had by default issued temporary provisional GST registrations to all VAT holders. Many have closed multiple companies in GST regime i.e after 1st July 2017, surrendered their VAT certificate and informed the department. But then too till date we receive demand notices from GST department for non filing of GST returns. This needs to be stopped immediately.
c) IGST payment made to customs via IceGate is not reflecting on GST portal / not visible to GST holder. Any mistake in uploading is not being traced and hence loss to importer and again mismatch at government end. Even it raises demand notices even though IGST are paid as per Custom department calculations in system software.
Hon’ble. FM referred the matter to GST Commissioner and he assured to take up the matter with GST Council and see to it that it gets resolved soon.
11) Suggestions for Union Budget:
Shri Hemant Parekh – Sr. Vice President of CAMIT and Shri Sandeep Jain – Vice President of Bombay Metal Exchange submitted representations and suggestions for upcoming Union Budget on behalf of Bombay Metal Exchange. They requested Hon’ble. FM to go through the same and take forward the suggestions to Union Finance Ministry.
Hon’ble. FM after giving a patient hearing to the submissions confirmed to add the submissions made in GOM’s suggestions for Budget to Union Finance Minister.
After patient hearing, Hon’ble FM was kind enough to immediately instruct officials to constitute a joint action group with CAMIT for follow up and timely resolution of the issues. Dipen Agrawal – President CAMIT thanked Hon’ble FM on behalf of the delegation. The meeting ended on very positive note.