States blamed for delay in online GST refund
As states were not acknowledging online applications in time, refund of Goods and Services Tax (GST) was being delayed, GST Council member Sushil Kumar Modi said on Monday.
"There is a huge backlog of GST refund due to states delaying acknowledging the online applications. The states have been told to expedite the process to hasten tax reimbursements," Modi told reporters here after a meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on IT-related issues in the GST Network (GSTN) here.
Admitting that Rs 25,170-crore worth online refund to 77,038 applications was pending, Modi said Rs 2,503 crore was disbursed to 5,912 applications after online refund had been stepped up.
"Though some states acknowledge online applications, they don't issue deficiency memos, which delay refund. The states have been directed to speed up refunds," asserted Modi.
The Bihar Deputy Chief Minister is the Chairman of the GoM, set up in September 2017 to address the IT-related issues of the GSTN operated by the city-based software vendor Infosys since the new tax regime was introduced across the country on July 1, 2017.
On non-payment of GST by many new taxpayers, Modi said they were being monitored to ensure they were genuine, as only 15 per cent of them paid taxes so far.
"The Council is verifying the profiles of around 67-lakh new taxpayers who registered with the GSTN. As only 15 per cent of them paid taxes, amounting to about Rs 10,000 crore, we are checking if they are fake or shell companies," Modi pointed out.
The overall number of tax payers has, however, increased to 1.2 crore since the GST regime came into being over 2 years ago (July 1, 2017).
"Many states are verifying the presence of the new companies, geo-tagging their location and uploading their details on the network system," noted Modi.
Hinting that the revamped and upgraded system for filing returns would be launched from April 1, 2020, the Chairman said it would be more user-friendly with less fields to fill in.
The Council has also introduced 3B, a simple return, which has to be filed every month.
"If the companies do not file 3B returns for two consecutive months, their e-way bill will be blocked," added Modi.
On decline in GST collections, the BJP minister said the monthly fluctuation in indirect tax receipts was due to cyclical slowdown in the economy.IANS