• Notification Date: 21-07-2023
  • Notification No: N/A

Maharashtra to raise Traders' concern after Centre brings changes in GST Rules

Senior Congress leader and MLA Prithviraj Chavan objected to the Centre’s decision to bring the Goods and Service Tax Network (GST) under the purview of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), which would permit the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to probe the matters linked to the GST. 

The Congress leader asked if the state government would raise the matter in the GST council. 

Replying to Chavan’s question, Maharashtra Finance Minister Ajit Pawar said he would raise the issue in the GST council meeting. He also said that he had already raised the issue with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi. 

"Though the issue comes under the finance minister, I met Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi and conveyed that there are 1.4 crore GST accounts in the country. I told him that traders are uncomfortable with this move and feel that there can be indirect harassment,” said Ajit Pawar. 

“Shah told me that he was also aware of the apprehensions of businessmen and the central government will take steps to ensure no injustice is done to anyone," said the minister. 

“I will also raise the concern, as flagged by Chahvan, in the GST council meeting headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman," he added. 

“Discussions are going on...and if it affects our treasury, we will have to think of (new) avenues to increase the revenue.... we will need to take strong decisions," Pawar told news agency PTI. 

Earlier, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi called the central government’s decision “tax terrorism”. 

"Bringing the GSTN under the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) is a way of the (Narendra) Modi government to practise, promote and propagate tax terrorism," Singhvi said. 

He said the Centre had through a notification on July 7 brought an amendment to the provisions of the PMLA, 2002, to include the GSTN, which handles the technology backbone of GST, in the list of entities with which ED will share information. 

"This is against the interest of traders and against the basic objective of decriminalising violations under the Goods and Services Tax Act. Therefore, the Tamil Nadu government is opposed to this considering that it will affect traders across the country, especially small traders," Singhvi said. 

"The triplet tactic of constraint, compulsion and coercion by the BJP through the new law shall wreak havoc on the business community in India. This is another tactic of the BJP to intimidate, incarcerate and imprison opposition leaders just ahead of the general elections," the Congress leader was quoted as saying by PTI.