Finance minister Thomas Isaac sends missive to Centre for screening

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In an attempt to prevent traders from making what finance minister T.M. Thomas Isaac calls indecent gains out of GST, the Commercial Sales Tax Department has created a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/postbillshere/) where the public can upload bills and post complaints. Sales tax officials will visit shops and retailers that had furnished such over-priced bills. “After the GST came into force, we have got innumerable complaints about overpricing. There should be some mechanism to protect the consumer from the heinous exploitation of the business community,” Dr Isaac said.

In a missive sent to Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday, Dr Thomas Isaac called for the constitution of the state-level screening committee and the national Anti-Profiteering Authority at the earliest. “It is noticed that many businesses such as hotels and restaurants and daily consumable-selling outlets, instead of getting discounts because of reduction in taxes or at least keeping prices at the same level, have increased prices,” Dr Isaac said in the letter.

“For most products, the GST fixed is lower than the combined value of all the earlier levies," Dr Isaac said. “I request that specific advertisements with the incidence matrix and resultant reduction in tax rate on commodities may be published at the national level so that each state giving different figures can be avoided,” Dr Isaac said in his letter to Jaitley. Isaac also reminded Jaitley that he had been regularly requesting at the GST Council meetings to prepare a detailed matrix on commodity-wise tax incidence.

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