Businessmen in Kashmir who haven’t been able to file their GST returns since July now find their GSTINs (GST identification number) blocked. This has forced the government of the union territory to once again extend the deadline for filing the returns until 20 December. Internet has not been restored in Kashmir since the 5 August lockdown. In November, the government set up internet kiosks at the offices of deputy commissioners in each of the region’s five districts to help businessmen file their returns. But because they hadn’t filed returns from August-November, the businessmen found their GSTINs blocked.
The last extension order was issued on 18 November, after the J&K administration acknowledged that only around 40 percent GST returns were filed until that date. The authorities admitted that the percentage of the returns filed this year was abysmally low, leading to a considerable dip in revenue collection.
“As even the returns for the month of July, August, September have not been filed by all taxpayers, it is requested that the access to the internet kiosks located in your offices may be allowed to the tax filers for at least 10 days (from 20 November to 30 November 2019),” the finance department had written to the deputy commissioners’ offices.