Bengal to amend VAT rules by April

Written by Economy Bureau | Kolkata, Mar 27 | Updated: Mar 28 2008, 05:44am hrs
The state will amend the West Bengal Value Added Tax (VAT) rules by April to rejig the refund mechanism as proposed by the state finance minister, Asim Dasgupta, in his 2008-09 budget.

HK Dwivedi, commercial tax commissioner, said the process involved in refunding VAT to the exporters is cumbersome at present, as the department has to cross check whether the VAT, for which the exporter has sought refund, has gone to the treasury or not.

"In fact refunding is also a trouble at the government of India level, and it is not only West Bengal, which has backlogs in refunding," Dwivedi said.

Although Dwivedi did not say the amount lying as backlog, he said by the end of 2007-08, the commercial tax department will be refunding Rs 50 crore against Rs 30 crore in 2006-07.

However, this is expected to increase in 2008-09 once the VAT rules are amended, Dwivedi said on the sidelines of an interactive session, organised by the Bengal National Chambers of Commerce & Industry.

The state finance minister proposed in his Budget that the government will be refunding to the exporters 50% of the VAT paid on the basis of book value within one month of the claim filed. The rest 50% will be refunded after proper verification.

KK Navada, president of BNCCI, said the proposed changes in the VAT rules is a welcome step, but industry will like to get more simple VAT returns forms, preferably sector-specific.