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BHOPAL: The Confederation of All-India Traders (CAIT) has announced a bandh of all business establishments on February 26 in Madhya Pradesh in protest against the Goods and Services Tax (GST) laws.

The CAIT has also called an all-India bandh on February 26. The Madhya Pradesh chapter of CAIT is part of this protest and has appealed to traders to keep all business establishments closed in protest against the GST laws that allow the government to seize their bank accounts, properties, goods and so forth even for small violations, said Rambabu Sharma, head of the Bhopal Chapter of CAIT.

“The GST Council has made around 950 amendments in the rules, but, unfortunately, traders and businessmen haven’t been given a chance to make corrections in their returns,” said Sunil Jain, convener of the state chapter.

When asked about the reservations of businessmen over the GST laws, Jain narrated several sections of the GST rules, including GST Section 83 (1), where tax officials have been given the right to seize property, bank accounts and goods in cases of tax evasion and related matters.

Tax officials can also seize the same of chartered accountants, tax consultants and so forth, he added.

Similarly, in Section 75 (12), if a trader submits more than the taxable amount, it will be treated as self-assessment, whereas, if the submitted tax is less, the GST licence of the businessman will be cancelled. Traders will not be given a second chance to correct the error.

Addressing the gathering of CAIT members, Jain said there were several other rules, such as seizure of goods by tax officials, imposing 200% tax on them and imposing 200% tax penalty on incorrect e-way bills, which were “draconian”.

More than a year has passed, but the appellate tribunal has not been constituted. Because of this, businessmen have to approach the high court in even small matters.

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Free Press Journal