GUWAHATI, Nov 30 – Expressing concern over the recent decision of the sales tax department to seek road permit for goods being transited through Assam instead of transit pass, the Assam Chamber of Inter-State Carriers has urged the State government to scrap the new system, adding that it was imposed without any notification or prior circular.
Chamber officials said today that Assam Sales Tax officials have since November 21 started demanding road permit issued by the state of destination from trucks transporting goods from outside the region to other North Eastern states via Assam or to pay tax in lieu.
“This was an arbitrary decision taken without any prior intimation or proper notification. This has led to over 800 trucks being left stranded at Srirampur and Baxirhat and this has resulted in retention cost of around Rs 3 crore for us. Many of the trucks are carrying perishable goods,” said Hiten Ojha, senior member of the Assam Chamber of Inter-State Carriers.
He said as per rules there is provision for road permit only for the state which is the final destination of the goods, while there is provision for transit pass for states through which the vehicles pass on way from the place where the goods are loaded to the ultimate destination.
“Besides, there are many goods which are taxable in some states but not in others. For example, coal is not taxed in Meghalaya and clothes are not taxable in Tripura. So why should we pay taxes for goods in one state which are not taxable in another. Besides, how can Assam demand sales tax for goods meant for other states. Rather, the sales tax department should enforce strict compliance with existing rules to ensure that goods meant for transit are not sold in the state,” he said.