A Jalandhar supplier of stationery and printing material to the Punjab Mandi Board has been blacklisted and a penalty of around Rs 30 lakh has been imposed on him for overcharging Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Last year, on October 3, The Tribune had highlighted how a Jalandhar-based firm ‘Amit Traders’ had supplied stationery and printing material to the board at inflated rates and charged higher GST than the prescribed tax.
Following this, the board had initiated an inquiry into the material supplied by the firm for the year 2017-18. In the past six months, the firm sought various extensions in hearings before the inquiry committee. However, various offices of the board, including DGM (Chandigarh), DGM (Ludhiana), DGM (Jalandhar) and Assistant Commissioner, GST (Jalandhar), sent their reports to the board.
In an order issued on Saturday, board chairman Lal Singh said it had been established that the firm’s act of charging higher GST and selling stationery items at inflated prices had caused financial loss to the market committees of the board. So, he had ordered not only to blacklist the firm for any future business but also freeze of bank guarantees and securities of Rs 10 lakh submitted to the board by the firm.
Significantly, The Tribune had highlighted how a computer that should have cost just around Rs 40,000 in the market had been purchased for Rs 82,000. On several items, the supplier had charged 28 percent GST against the prescribed rate of 18 percent. Amit Gupta, the owner of Amit Traders, said he was yet to receive any official intimation in this regard. “We have already been given a clean chit by the GST authorities. We will challenge the decision at the appropriate platform,” he said.