Empowering Small Traders (Rahat Scheme)


In a bid to end the ‘Inspector Raj’ and save the small traders from harassment and the hassles while running their business, the ‘Rahat Scheme’ was launched in 2014. An important aspect of this comprehensive scheme is that the traders will not require maintaining account books, stock registers, purchase invoices or bills, maintain ledgers, and goods receipts.

The scheme was unveiled by the Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, Sukhbir Sing Badal. It was launched for 74 cities and towns in Punjab under Tier-I, Tier-II and Tier-III categories. Under this scheme, traders can opt to pay lump-sum tax ranging from Rs. 0-25 lakh to Rs. 1 crore.

Any trader who has a turnover between Rs. 0-25 lakh would have to deposit Rs. 5,000 as lump-sum tax, whereas, from Rs. 25 – Rs. 50 lakh, it would be Rs. 10,000. For Rs. 50 lakh to Rs. 75 lakh, the lump-sum tax to be paid would be Rs. 15,000 and for Rs. 1 crore turnover, the lump-sum tax would be Rs. 20,000.

According to this scheme, no tax inspector can go to any trader, factory and commercial sites without getting written permission of the excise and taxation commissioner.

A new amendment in January 2015 brought the ‘one-time annual VAT payment scheme’ for traders in 71 towns. Traders would now only need to submit a self-assessment of their annual turnover to the department and have to pay tax in accordance with four different slabs made on the basis of their turnover.

As a big relief for the small re-rolling mills, the scheme includes that the iron industry would have to pay VAT as per a lump-sum scheme based on electricity consumption. Abolition of e-trip for the industry means that the re-rolling millers have to pay only 2% tax at the stage of import or first purchase instead of advance tax of 2.5%,

Punjab government has also announced abolition of the e-TRIP system besides increasing the value added tax (VAT) on steel industry by 1%.

Following is the eligibility criteria:

1-He/she has to be a retailer.

2-The person who doesn’t conduct any business in any corporation or Class-1 municipal town of the state.

3-His/her taxable turnover (except the turnover of the goods covered under single-stage taxation) is less than Rs. 1 crore in a financial year.

4-He/she doesn’t conduct any inter-state sales/purchase.

Here’s how to apply:

Any person who wants to opt for this scheme is required to submit an application to the designated officer.

To register any complaints, a helpline number — 1800-2582580, and an e-mail id —rahatscheme2014@gmail.com, has also been launched for the traders.

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