Punjab VAT Act, 2005 has been amended empowering the Excise & Taxation Commissioner, Punjab to implement electronic governance for carrying out various provisions of the Act. This may be a step towards implementation of E-Trip in Punjab.
A new Section 3-A under the Punjab VAT Act, 2005 has been inserted which runs as follows:
3-A: Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or the rules made thereunder, the commissioner may by an order with the approval of the State Government, implement electronic governance for carrying out the various provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder
Electronic Governance has been defined under newly added clause (jj) of section 2 of the Act which runs as follows:
(jj) electronic governance means the use of electronic medium for,
(i) filing of any form, return, application, declaration or any other document;
(ii) creation, retention or preservation of records;
(iii) issue or grant of any form including statutory forms, orders and ceertificates; and
(iv) receipt of tax, interest, penalty or any other payment or refund of the same through Government treasury or authorized banks
After the above amendments the Commissioner now has the power to implement electronic governance including implementation of E-Trip, with the approval of State Government.
However, it is notable here that section 3-A doesnot seem to have been implemented retrospectively, hence the earlier orders issued by the Commissioner relating to any of the issues covered in the definition of electronic governance (including the Public Notice of E-Trip but except the orders relating to efiling of returns and epayment of taxes as power to direct for e-filing and e-payment is already there under Rule 36), will have to be reissued for the legal and valid implementation of electronic governance.
Thus E-Trip i.e electronic reporting of the intra-state i.e within state transactions will be deemed to have been implemented in Punjab only after a new order u/s 3-A is issued by the Commissioner with the approval of State Government.
Relevant amendments have also been made u/s 51 of the Punjab VAT Act, 2005 for the implementation of E-Trip as the word intra-state has been inserted in first proviso to sub-section 2 of section 51 of Punjab VAT Act, 2005.
After the above amendment in the first proviso to section 51(2) the proviso runs as under:
Provided that a person selling goods from within or outside the State in the cource of intra-state or inter-state trade or commerce, shall also furnish or cause to be furnished a declaration with such particulars, as may be prescribed.
Thus along with the issuance of order for implementation of E-Trip a declaration form for the intra-state transaction will also have to be prescribed.
Another important amendment which has been made u/s 51 of PVAT Act is the inserting of the words Goods and by any other meansalong with the words Goods vehicle which means that provisions of section 51 of Punjab VAT Act will be applicable not only to the goods carried by goods vehicle but also by any other means.