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September 3, 2011

E-governance benefits for people brought in by Ma, Mati, Manush Government

E-governance benefits for people brought in by Ma, Mati, Manush Government

Kolkata, September 3: The Trinamool led government on the verge of fulfilling yet another commitment which it made to the public before the elections. State Finance Minister Mr. Amit Mitra who had outlined the E-governance module in detail finally announces the launch of the bill. The specified module introduced by the Finance Minister aims in bringing in more transparency in the system enabling them to avail of the E-governance facility. `The idea behind simplifying the module is to make things easy and consumer-friendly as the present module has lot of complications which often demoralize the person`, said the Minister

Referred as `dematerialization` of registration certificates the specified module will enable the tax-payers to download the bill from the internet and submit the same on the internet. After this they will not be required to run around the offices for approval or the seal of the official.

The Finance Minister who had predominantly worked on two things while formulating the tax system: to give more impetus to the usage of technology by reducing the direct interaction between the payers and collectors. Identify the lacuna in the system and removing the same. Apart from bringing down the corruption to a great extent the e-governance module will help to gear up the process and make it swift. The bill says: `The new system replaces the payment of refund amount to the dealer by cheque which was saddled with delay and corruption arising due to writing and delivery of cheques`.

However, Paschimbanga will be the first state in India to have introduce dematerialization of tax returns and e-registration for business under different state acts.

The salient features of the bill:

VAT registration: Previously the dealers used to submit documents application for VAT and received the confirmation by post. As per the new module the registration certificate can be downloaded from the internet.

Duplication: Now the dealer can submit digitally signed electronic returns and subsequently make e-payment unlike before when they had to submit hard copy of the payment challan.

Sales Tax Returns: Online submission of the form and no manual filing of the returns.

Assessment: Previously, the dealer had to produce the accounts books before the assessment officials and required frequent visits to tax office. In the new module those who have filled returns period 2011-12 will be deemed to been assessed.

Litigation: All the pending cases to be shifted to the fast-track benches to be disposed by September 30, 2012.

Dues: Now the dealers can pay the dues by paying 25 per cent of the outstanding demand alongwith five per cent of total accumulated interest, subject to a limit of one lakh. Previously, the process was cumbersome.

Direct refund: Direct transfer of amount to bank account of the dealer, unlike earlier when refund used to be made through cheques.

Audit: Earlier the officials used to conduct audit and there were many discrepancies in the process while in the new module the dealer will be given a chance to clear the demand to avoid assessment.

Way bill: According to new module the dealers who paid tax of more than three crore in the preceding fiscal year and all PSUs exempt from waybill requirement. Earlier the dealer was required to possess a valid way bill for importing any commodity both within and outside India.

Apart from the e-governance measures two Bills were passed in the Assembly. The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) Bill 2011 was passed. Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee announced that a Development Board would be constituted which will look into the issues of the Lepchas of Darjeeling. She said that the Centre would carry out the necessary constitutional amendment to make provision for a Zillah Parishad in Darjeeling. She assured that she will visit the hills after the Durga Puja.

On the same day, the West Bengal Assembly passed the Bill on the name change of the State. After the approval at the parliamentary level the English name for the state will be Paschimbanga.