GST fallout: Contractors threaten boycott of developmental works

Say new tax regime complicated return process; demand release of Rs 350 cr outstanding dues

SAQIB MALIK
Srinagar, Publish Date: Sep 13 2017 12:27AM | Updated Date: Sep 13 2017 12:27AM
GST fallout: Contractors threaten boycott of developmental worksGK Photo

While threatening to stop ongoing developmental works, Jammu and Kashmir Central Contractors Coordination Committee (JKCCCC) Tuesday demanded release of outstanding Rs 350 crore from the state government. 

JKCCCC has also opposed the “cumbersome process” of filing of returns under Goods and Services Tax and demanded annual payment of tax rather than multiple filing of returns. An emergency meeting of JKCCCC was held here on Tuesday, in which these issues were discussed.

Farooq Ahmad Dar, general secretary, JKCCCC told Greater Kashmir that the new tax regime will make payment process for contractors difficult. “Earlier taxes used to get deposited with the state but now after implementation of GST it will go to center which will make payments to contractors  all the more difficult,” Dar said.   

According to Dar 1/4th of the development budget for the contractors used to be released by April but this year an outstanding payment worth Rs 350 crore for contractors is lying with the state government.  

“GST has made things complicated for construction contractors. We were among the first ones to oppose the new taxation regime as it does not suit the contractors,” Dar said.

Dar said filing of 37 returns is a “cumbersome process” for the contractors as this will be a time consuming process, he said.

“One one side presence of contractors at the construction site has been made compulsory and on the other hand government wants us to make rounds of sales tax department to fulfill taxation process,” Dar said.

Dar said the contractors will stop work on all projects across all districts incase their demands are not fulfilled. Dar alleged developmental funds meant for contractors are being diverted to Jammu and Ladakh.

“Earlier government used to make payments to us through cheque system which has been stopped now. Instead Work Done Claim (WDC) system has been a failure. Since March, 2017 Rs 200 crore deposit of contractors is lying with the government which is all because of introduction of WDC,” Dar said. 

Chairman, JKCCCC, Haji Muhammad Akbar Pal accused successive state governments of neglecting contractors and said GST will “complicate things further” for them.

“Contractors have been running from pillar to post to get their dues cleared. GST is completely anti-contractor and we hope government takes a rethink about implementation of this tax regime on us. Moreover we demand immediate release of our pending dues,” Pal said.