In the first 15 days itself it could bring in 90 per cent VAT accounts under the new GST jurisdiction. Of the total 2.16 traders under VAT in the State, 1.92 were registered under the GST by July 15 and got their numbers. Telangana thus became one of the few states in the country, which registered such a result within 15 days.
The Central government officials have appreciated efforts of the Telangana government while several states are facing agitation by some businessmen community.
The state official machinery went ahead following instructions from Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao that they should educate the traders and people about the positive aspects of the GST, clarify their doubts and alley their fears.
The CM held a high level meeting on July 3 amidst the doubts that whether the GST is good for the State or not? Which items will come under the GST? What percent of gain or loss? Etc., The CM has instructed the officials to organize statewide conferences to educate the people on the positive aspects of the GST. He categorically asked the officials to create an awareness among the people that trades having their turn over less than Rs 20 lakh per annum need not pay any tax and for those having turnover upto Rs 75 Lakh per year will have to pay only one per cent as tax. It was decided at the review meeting that since the state will get 50 per cent of the GST, it would not be a loss to the state’s exchequer. The CM suggested fear and doubts on the GST in the minds of people should be cleared. Under the leadership of Principal Secretary Somesh Kumar the excise and commercial taxes department officials have swung into action. It has followed a multiple strategy. Principal Secretary Somesh Kumar, Addl Principal Secretary to CM, MS Shanti Kumari has taken the responsibility of the program.
Traders in 91 Circles of the Commercial taxes department were personally met by the officials. 51 awareness meeting were held between July 5 to 7. Chief Secretary S P
Principal Secretary (Finance) Ramakrishna participated in Tandoor while Principal Secretary (Revenue) BR Meena participated in Hyderabad and Karimnagar districts, and Commercial Taxes Commissioner Anil Kumar in Warangal.
The officials have created awareness on the GST to the traders who participated in the meetings. They have cleared their doubts and answered their questions. The officials personally helped the trades to switch over from VAT to the GST. They have distributed pamphlets on the GST in Telugu and English to the people. They have told the people that traders having a turnover of Rs 20 Lakh per year need not pay any tax, those having the turnover of Rs 75 Lakh will only pay one percent tax and only 2 per cent tax for those making items. They have also informed the people on the items, including food items that are not covered under the GST.
A two day workshop was conducted on July 8 and 9 where Central Excise senior officials and state officials participated in which Union Minister B Dattatreya and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi were present. Journalists were also given awareness at a meeting held here at the Press Club on July 11. A meeting was held for the Pharma sector on July 13, with contractors on July 14 and with consumers on July 15. Meetings are being organised for the IT sector, Real estate, Catering business, textile traders, Commission Agents, small traders, and a Toll Free No 1800 425 3787 was also formed to clear the doubts on the GST. This call Centre will work from 8 am to 10 PM and so far about 3000 callers have got their doubts cleared.