Ex­porters get back 94% of GST re­fund claims

Mint ST - - VIEWS -

GST, which is ap­pli­ca­ble on in­ter-state trans­ac­tions, more than 93% of the ₹46,032 crore claims have been cleared, the min­istry said.

Sev­eral safety fea­tures were sus­pended as busi­nesses across the board faced dif­fi­cul­ties in com­pli­ance dur­ing the ini­tial months of the GST roll out. The au­thor­i­ties had also taken a le­nient ap­proach in en­force­ment. How­ever, stag­na­tion in tax rev­enues in re­cent months forced the cen­tral and state au­thor­i­ties to tighten en­force­ment mea­sures.

This, to­gether with fes­tive de­mand, helped GST re­ceipts cross ₹1 tril­lion in Oc­to­ber, the sec­ond time since the tax re­form was in­tro­duced.

In April, col­lec­tions had crossed ₹1 tril­lion be­cause of the spillover tax pay­ments due in FY18. The short­fall so far this year from the tar­gets has been at least ₹21,000 crore.

Athick haze en­gulfed Delhi on Thurs­day as it recorded its worst air qual­ity of the year the morn­ing af­ter Di­wali, with the pol­lu­tion level en­ter­ing “se­vere-plus emer­gency” cat­e­gory or ten times the per­mis­si­ble limit due to ram­pant burst­ing of fire­crack­ers in gross vi­o­la­tion of a Supreme Court or­der, au­thor­i­ties said.

While many res­i­dents and green ac­tivists voiced their help­less­ness at the vi­o­la­tion of the Supreme Court’s 8-10pm time limit of burst­ing fire­crack­ers and ex­pressed an­guish, doc­tors ad­vised peo­ple to stay in­doors, use N-99 masks and not ven­ture out.

The Delhi Po­lice said it had reg­is­tered over 550 cases and ar­rested over 300 peo­ple for vi­o­lat­ing apex court’s or­der in this re­gard, while as­sert­ing that on Di­wali day, it also seized 2,776kg of fire­crack­ers, ar­rested 87 peo­ple and reg­is­tered 72 cases in con­nec­tion with il­le­gal sale of fire­crack­ers.

The Delhi Fire Ser­vices (DFS) re­sponded to over 300 calls on fire in­ci­dents trig­gered by fire­crack­ers and LPG cylin­der blast, among oth­ers, on Di­wali night in Delhi, in­clud­ing an in­ci­dent in which two chil­dren lost their lives and two oth­ers were in­jured. This, they said was much higher than pre­vi­ous years. Over 250 cases of burn in­juries were re­ported by var­i­ous hospi­tals in the na­tional cap­i­tal this Di­wali.

The Supreme Court has al­lowed peo­ple to burst fire­crack­ers from 8pm to 10pm only on Di­wali and other fes­ti­vals. The top court also al­lowed man­u­fac­ture and sale of just “green crack­ers” which have low emis­sion of light, sound and harm­ful chem­i­cals. The court said the po­lice should en­sure there was no sale of banned fire­crack­ers and in case of any vi­o­la­tion, the Sta­tion House Of­fi­cer (SHO) of the po­lice sta­tion of the area would be held per­son­ally li­able and this would

amount to com­mit­ting con­tempt of court.

But de­spite the Supreme Court’s or­der, cer­tain places recorded vi­o­la­tions where fire­crack­ers were burnt be­fore and af­ter the set time frame. The ar­eas where the vi­o­la­tions were recorded in­cluded Mayur Vi­har Ex­ten­sion, La­j­pat Na­gar, Lu­tyens’ Delhi, IP ex­ten­sion, Dwarka and Noida Sec­tor 78, ac­cord­ing to a re­port.

Partly as a re­sult of smoke from the fire­crack­ers, the over­all air qual­ity in­dex (AQI) in Delhi jumped to 574 which falls in the “se­vere-plus emer­gency” cat­e­gory, ac­cord­ing to data by the cen­tre-run SAFAR (Sys­tem of Air Qual­ity and Weather Fore­cast­ing And Re­search).

A “se­vere plus emer­gency” AQI es­sen­tially means that even healthy peo­ple could suf­fer from res­pi­ra­tory ill­nesses like asthma on pro­longed ex­po­sure.

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