GST evasions under lens in bid to stem shortfall

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With the state’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection on a steady decline, the state government went into a huddle with industry representatives to find ways to increase the tax-mop up as well as plug leakages in GST collections, officials said here on Wednesday. According to officials present for the meeting, the government is likely to constitute a task force with members from various departments to survey and identify establishments that are not paying any GST. Chief minister Pramod Sawant, panchayat minister and Goa’s representative on the GST council Mauvin Godinho and state GST commissioner Deepak Bandekar sat with representatives of Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Confederation of Indian Industry, Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), CREDAI–Goa, Goa Small Industries Association and other industry bodies to find ways to stem the downward march in the state GST revenue.

“The meeting was to communicate with them and to see how the GST collections can be increased, if there are any shortcomings because collections have declined,” said Sawant. The recent reduction in GST rates for starred hotels is expected to pinch the state exchequer even further, with officials suggesting that Goa stands to lose Rs 100 crore. Goa’s GST collections have remained static, with the state earning Rs 769 crore in GST from June to August this year. For the same period in 2018, the GST collection stood at Rs 763 crore, the commercial taxes department showed. “The idea was to try and understand the cause for the shortfall and for means to increase GST collections,” said Bandekar. “TTAG has told us there are more than 6,000 operating units such as online room aggregators, guesthouses, flats and three-star hotels which are not registered under GST,” said Godinho.

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