About 100 tax professionals (advocates) went on strike today against SK Garg, in-charge of the GST Ludhiana 1, for the latter’s alleged high-handedness. The advocates alleged that ever since Garg joined the department about a month ago, the working has come to a standstill. About 70 advocates were on strike. Arun Kawal, president of the Sale Tax Bar Association, said the in-charge of the GST Ludhiana 1 was the top authority here but he had not been clearing the files. Not only the traders were upset but tax professionals also were facing problems as there was so much pendency and people were not getting their GST returns, he added.
“He is not clearing the files. The staff visits to get the documents checked. If there are mistakes or discrepancies, tell us, we will rectify but at least clear the backlog. The traders come to us and complain and we feel helpless. He wants to take every decision. The SGST and CGST are two separate entities. But the official is intruding in the Central GST returns too, which is uncalled for, and refunds are being delayed. We had raised the issue to the DETC but to no avail. Today, seeing no other option, we went on strike,” said Kawal. SK Garg, however, maintained that he had joined the office on May 1 and till May 24, all were busy with election duties. “I was virtually given around 10 working days and in those three days, we held meetings with these advocates. Now they want me to do the work wrongly and that too immediately. I will not succumb to their pressure. They also want my transfer. How can an official work under such pressure tactics?” said Garg.