Notifications (February 2021)

Gujarat High Court Issues Notice to GST Department for Their Alleged Pressure Tactics to Achieve Tax Collection Target

On Friday 5, 2021 the Gujarat High Court pulled up the GST officials for allegedly compelling a person to pay high tax to achieve the tax collection targets.

The case before the Bench of Justice J. B. Pardiwala and Justice Ilesh J. Vora of one Kanubhai Manilalthe, the proprietor of Bharat Acid and Chemicals, who alleged before the Court that he was summoned under the pretext of interrogation by the officials and was kept under custody for almost 33 hours.

Kanubhai Manilalthe has stated that he was coerced and pressurized to transfer money up to Rs.9 crores in the account of the GST department. On January 22, 2021, he was taken and searches were conducted on his premises by the Directorate General of GST Intelligence, Surat (DGGI).

The Writ Applicant was kept in the department’s office for almost 33 hours. His advocate Hardik Vora argued and complained in court that his client was not released from the department’s office without making a payment of Rs.9 Crore to the department. The advocate also argued that extreme mental and physical torture was performed by the officials on his client to extract the money.

The bench was upset after hearing the case and stated “the facts of this case are very gross and shocking”. The Court after noting the accusations and facts said, “No wonder, the State of Gujrat has topped the list of states with the highest collection of tax under the GST Act in the country for the year 2020-21”.

The additional director and senior intelligence officer of DGGI have been charged with serious allegations and now the matter needs to be looked into immediately. A notice has been issued to the officials seeking a reply by February 16, 2021.


To Boost Work-Life Balance Centre May Allow Shorter Work Week

A new rule was proposed in the parliament to allow employees of the public and private sector to work 4 days a week with longer shifts.

On February 8, 2021 labour secretary Apurva Chandra informed to the reporters that, 48-hour work limit will remain but employees will be asked to do the work in 4 days per week and three days of paid leaves would be provided. Per week they have to work 12-hours; or five, around 10-hour days; or six, eight-hour days, to have a more productive work-life balance.

Chandra also added that a 4-day work week can give flexibility and this provision enables employees to adapt to the change in the work culture. Before starting a new work week, if employers approve of 4-day work week then they have to ensure that there is a three-day leave for the employees and if the employees work five-day a week then two-day leave should be there.

The provision will be an essential part of the labour code. And after the implementation of this provision, employers would not be asked to seek the permission of the government to approve the shift to a four-day work week. Once the employees agree to this arrangement then it would be applied in the Companies without delay. Employers will have the liberty to choose 8 to 12 hours workdays, it depends on the demand of the industry and the location.

Employees are happy with the provision, as they will have more time to spend on leisure activities and they can also recover effectively from the weekly pressures. Experts are concerned as the new rule can convert work into two shifts instead of three shifts and employment opportunities will also be reduced.

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