15,139 ST defaulters in J&K owe Govt Rs 1,147 cr

JAMMU: Reiterating govt's resolve to recover public money state Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather  today revealed that Jammu and Kashmir has 15,139 sales tax defaulters and they owe Rs 1,147 crore to the government. 

"We reiterate our government's commitment regarding vigorous tax recovery drive against defaulters. There shall be no compromise in this regard," Rather said while replying to the debate on demand of grants for Finance, Ladakh Affairs, Planning and Development Departments in the Assembly today. 

In a written reply to the Cut Motion of PDP member Abdul Rehman Veeri in state Assembly, Rather said the total number of sales tax defaulters is 15,139 against whom Rs 1,147.35 crores are recoverable. 

He said the Commercial Taxes Department has recovered about Rs 41.86 crore this financial year up to December. 

Rather said every step envisaged under the law is being taken to recover arrears, which include attachment of property, bank accounts, arrests etc. The drive to recover arrears sometimes suffer as the defaulters succeed in getting stays from competent forums, he added. 

Rather said stringent action as warranted under law shall be taken against defaulters irrespective of their status and position. 

The Minister sought to dispel the notion that more taxes are collected from Jammu division as compared to Kashmir. There is a significant contribution from Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions to the overall tax collection in the State, he added. 

It is also incorrect to say that more funds are provided to Kashmir division as compared to Jammu division, he said. The question of discrimination against any region does not arise, Rather said. 

The entry tax collected at the check post is in respect of use of goods in all the three regions of the State but is charged only at Lakhanpur check post and is not assigned to any particular division, he said. 

He said an amount of Rs 40 crore was realised on account of entry tax during 2012-13. 

The entire tax amount realised on account of petrol and diesel under Motor Spirit Tax (MST) Act is collected only at single point in Jammu but these are consumed in all division of Jammu and Kashmir. 

The Minister said an amount of Rs 672 crore has been realised on this account in the last financial year. 

He said during 2011-12, there has been intrastate imports from Jammu to Kashmir and Ladakh divisions to the tune of Rs 3,874 crore and Rs 4,869 crore during the year 2012-13. 

"In essence average tax of Rs 309.92 crore and Rs 398 crore respectively has been deposited by dealers of Kashmir and Ladakh divisions in Jammu region", Rather added. 

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