Assembly passes GST (Amendment) Bill

Deputy CM Manish Sisodia arrives at Delhi Secretariat on the second day of monsoon session on Friday.   | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

The Delhi Legislative Assembly, on the final day of its two-day monsoon session, passed the Delhi GST (Amendment) Bill 2021 and amendments to the ambitious ‘Bed and Breakfast Scheme’.

While the GST (Amendment) Bill was presented for the dual purpose of removing difficulties faced by taxpayers of the Capital and to increase the accountability of people who evade taxes by making them liable, the amended Bed and Breakfast Scheme will seek to promote tourism in Delhi.

“There have been small changes in 15 sections in the Bill and Schedule II, paragraph 7 is being omitted from the Bill,” Mr. Sisodia, who also holds the finance portfolio, said while tabling the Bill.

“These changes have been incurred after looking at the experiences and receiving feedback of the business people and these amendments have been approved in the 39th GST Council Meeting after wide deliberations,” he also said.

He stated that the proposed Delhi GST (Amendment) Bill 2021 has been brought up to ease the difficulties of people, smoothen the process of GST and to further make all those people who took advantage of the GST being a new act accountable and “hence took money from the people but did not commit it to the government.”

Lens on tax evaders

This proposed amendment Bill will hold all these people who evade taxes as liable, he said. Listing the features of the proposed amendment, Mr. Sisodia said one of its key features was the removal of the requirement of compulsory submission of audited annual accounts and reconciliation statements for the registered taxpayers.

“Since, the audit and reconciliation was earlier necessary, traders had to be reliant on chartered and cost accountants,” he said.

Further, in case of detention, seizure and release of goods and conveyance in transit, the goods can be released on the payment of penalty only as opposed to the previous practice of goods being released on the payment of applicable tax and penalty.

To stop some wrong practices of evading taxes, the GST council has ascertained that attachment of property and bank accounts is permitted not only of the taxable person but also of the other beneficiaries.

This amendment, he said, was targeted at those individuals who set up fake firms under names of other individuals and get away with claiming taxes. “Now, this amendment will ensure these master minds are held liable,” he said.

Fillip to tourism

Mr. Sisodia also moved a motion before the House to amend the ‘Bed and Breakfast Scheme’ under which houses will now get registered in 30 days instead of 90 days.

The Deputy Chief Minister, who also holds the tourism portfolio, stated tourists, especially foreign tourists, can stay in an Indian family’s home for the purpose of experiencing Indian familial traditions and culture under the scheme.

In order to cover more and more households under it, he said, the Delhi government had reduced the entire process of registration from 90 days to 30 days by making changes in it.

“Along with this, the landlords will not have to go to the offices to get the certificate, but will be provided with the certificate online,” he said.

Under the scheme, landlords who live in properties along with their families with one to six rooms that are empty and not in the category of a guest house, lodge, or hotel can apply, he said.

This scheme, Mr. Sisodia stated, will not only benefit tourists but will also be a source of income for the hosts. Tourists, he added, can directly contact the landlord without coming in contact with any middleman.

“So far 1,630 rooms of 347 houses have been registered under the ‘Bed and Breakfast Scheme’. This number will increase rapidly after the government changes the rules to promote tourism,” he stated.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 8:52:16 PM |

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