Come November 8, and the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), which is expected to provide common and shared IT infrastructure for GST implementation, will on-board to its platform the details of about 80 lakh existing assessees of excise, value-added tax, customs and service tax, a top official said.
“On this date (November 8), we are releasing enrolments. This means getting these existing eight million assessees on to our system. This move will help them do business without any hassle from April 1 next year, which is the likely GST implementation date,” Prakash Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, GSTN, told BusinessLine on the sidelines of a PHDCCI event here on Friday.
Kumar noted that although assessee details will come onto the GSTN platform, the existing assessees will not be able to “play around” with their returns from November 8 itself. The objective is to clean the data, sort out inconsistencies and get ready for smooth transition to the implementation date of April 1, he said.
“This is going to be a challenging task and will give us a clear picture of where things stand,” Kumar said. GSTN, a not-for-profit entity incorporated in March 2013, has been set up primarily to provide IT infrastructure and services to the Central and State governments, taxpayers and other stakeholders for implementation of GST. It has also been allowed to partner with other agencies for creating an efficient and user-friendly GST eco-system.
Software major Infosys had bagged the five-year contract to be the Managed Service Provider (MSP) for GSTN.
Kumar also said that GSTN will in the coming days obtain imports related data (Bill of Entry) from the Central Board of Excise Customs (CBEC). This will be useful for levy of iGST (GST levy on imports).
“In fact an officer who was handling ICEGATE in customs has joined us as Senior Vice-President. Two officers — one handling ACES and the other handling ICEGATE — have joined us. They understand the interface better and so we have done this,” Kumar said.
Meanwhile, reacting to the proposal for levy of cess for compensating the States, Bimal Jain, Chairman of PHDCCI’s Indirect Tax Committee, said this was not a welcome proposal from industry’s standpoint as it will have a cascading effect.
“This will be the case even if such a cess is to be levied only on luxury items,” he said.