RAHAT scheme under Punjab VAT to be notified soon for traders of small town

Excise and taxation inspectors (ETIs) would not be allowed to check commercial premises of traders in at least 71 towns of Punjab after February 13 as the state excise and taxation department is launching a new scheme under which traders would have an option to pay value added tax (VAT) once a year in proportion to their annual income. 

In lieu of this tax amount, the government would provide traders cashless treatment up to Rs 50,000, life and accidental insurance worth Rs 2 lakh and Rs 5 lakh insurance in case of damage to property due to fire.

Under the new "Rahat Scheme", which would be launched from February 13, Punjab government has decided to ban access of ETIs in 71-B and C category towns (which are not managed by municipal corporations). Traders would now only need to submit self-assessment of their annual turnover to the department and have to pay tax in accordance with four different slabs made on the basis of turnover.

"After February 13, no tax inspector can go to any trader, factory and commercial sites without getting written permission of the excise and taxation commissioner (ETC)," said Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal, who was in Mandi Gobindgarh attend a function organized by the traders' body.

He said under the new policy, traders having annual turnover up to Rs 25 lakh would have to pay Rs 5,000 per annum. Those having turnover between Rs 25-50 lakh and Rs 50-75 lakh would have to deposit Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000, respectively. Traders and shopkeepers with annual turnover to Rs 1 crore would have to pay Rs 20,000 per year, said Badal.

Speaking about VAT refund, the deputy CM said there was a pendency of Rs 450 crore till January 1 out of which, Rs 125 crore had been paid while the remaining amount would be disbursed soon.

See the Rahat Scheme Notification here


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