Member of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) Raj Kumar Barthwal said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection in the country has almost stabilized. He visited Puducherry on Monday to participate in the 29th regional contact points (RCP) meeting of Asia Pacific (A/P) region of the World customs’ organization (WCO) convened by the CBIC. The meeting concludes on Wednesday. Speaking to reporters, he said GST collection is presently being fine-tuned as per the emerging economic situation. “GST is a one-of-its-kind of the transformational tax regime that has happened in the world. It’s been on a zig-zag course and it has almost stabilized. And it’s been fine-tuned as the economic situation demanded,” he said. WCO is the only inter-governmental international organization engaged in evolving and implementing principles and standards for cross-border procedures.
Headquartered at Brussels, the organization has more than 180 countries as members. The organization consists of six regions each headed by a member country as vice-chair. India is a member of the A/P region and is also the vice-chair of the region since July 2018. The ongoing RCP meeting aims to address regional development, discuss issues linked to cross border trade procedures and enhance communication and share experiences among the member countries. Earlier, while addressing the gathering, Barthwal said India as a vice-chair of the A/P region adheres to four strategic guiding principles such as greater communication and connectivity within the region, harness technology advancements, inclusive approach and consensus on core issues.
He also emphasized the key focus areas including performance measurement, security and enforcement, inter-agency cooperation for trade facilitation, customs’ single window, small island economies, leveraging disruptive technologies and border clearance for cruise ships. Takashi Sato from the WCO, Brussels outlined the organization’s efforts in improving capacity building, trade facilitation, compliance, and enforcement activities. Chief commissioner of customs (Chennai) M Ajit Kumar highlighted the use of technology in lodging complaints. CBIC joint secretary L Satya Srinivas also spoke on the occasion. Senior customs officials from 25 countries of A/P region including China, Australia, Japan, Iran and Cambodia and representatives from international organizations like UNCTAD, GS1 and Global Alliance on Trade Facilitation among others are participating in the three-day programme.