Kochi: While the world is going crazy over digital marketing and other marketing tools, the sales tax department has opted for the use of age-old loudspeakers to urge the consumers to take home the bills after Onam purchase.
The department used six cars in Ernakulam — three in Kochi and three in Mattancherry — for the purpose. The drive was initiated as an attempt to curb tax evasion by a section of traders. The department officials claimed that they conducted similar campaigns across the state.
"Yes, we used loudspeakers to keep the public informed about the importance of bills and the fraud behind not billing," said Mr Sivan Kutty, Deputy Commissioner, Intelligence.
"Enforcement will be smooth and transparent once the consumers are aware of their rights. The move was not pre-planned. The Commissioner of Sales Tax Department made the decision," he added.
"We have noticed tax evasion, At the same time, the traders are protesting against inspection. So we decided to create awareness among the public. We also made sure that all the casual traders are registered and those who fail to register were asked to pay a hefty fine," he said.
Meanwhile, traders complained that sales tax authorities were refusing to inspect street vendors. They alleged that street vendors were making huge profit and that they were not actual street vendors.
According to Kerala Merchants Chamber of Commerce, the taxes department was only monitoring the activities of registered traders and not checking exhibitions and large 'melas.'
An office-bearer of the KMCC said that several traders were smuggling in goods from outside Kerala and conducting business in the streets without paying any tax.