Government announces Rs 48.5 crore relief for traders: Pre-GST arrears waived

In a significant move, the State government has declared a waiver of pre-Goods and Services Tax (GST) arrears, totaling Rs 48.5 crore, for approximately 16,412 traders. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, addressing a press conference at Mantralaya, Porvorim, revealed that the One-Time Settlement (OTS) scheme was introduced to address long-pending issues dating back to 2016.

Traders seeking benefits under the OTS scheme have until March 7 to clear their outstanding dues. The Chief Minister emphasised the government’s commitment to moving forward in the GST regime with reduced arrears and litigations. Launched in October the previous year, the scheme aims to provide relief and streamline the transition to the GST system. Sawant highlighted the accessibility of waiver certificates on the Department of State Tax, Government of Goa’s website for traders availing the OTS scheme. The initiative, operating under the Goa (Recovery of Arrears of Tax, Interest, Penalty, Other Dues through Settlement) Act, 2023 (Goa Act 34 of 2023) or the GRATIPOS Act, extends relief to individuals who, despite financial challenges, have fulfilled their income tax returns, GST, and Value Added Tax (VAT) obligations.

Notably, participants contributing an additional Rs 10,000 will enjoy a 50% waiver. The Chief Minister emphasised that this initiative will not only directly benefit the 16,412 individuals engaged in business but also enhance the overall financial well-being of the State. The deadline for availing benefits under the scheme is fixed at March 7, 2024, with no provision for further extensions.

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