Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das at the Annual meet of the Chief Commissioners and Directors General of the Central Board of Excise and Customs, on Monday
Revenue Secretary asks Excise/Customs board to aim at 22% growth in service tax collection
The stalemate over the passage of the Goods and Services Tax-related Constitution Amendment Bill in Parliament has not deterred the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) from gearing up for its implementation. Among other things, it has set up an exclusive directorate and is also training officials.
Inaugurating a two-day conference of Chief Commissioners and Director-General of CBEC here on Monday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Revenue Department, in consultation with the Empowered Committee, is keeping all the laws to be enacted by the Centre and States in readiness.
“The Revenue Secretary did mention that the IT infrastructure necessary to support is also kept in readiness and, therefore, as soon as we are able to have the legislation approved, we should be in a position to take the necessary follow-up actions in terms of ordinary legislations and executive actions required for its support itself,” he said. The indirect tax body has created a new directorate for GST and has also provided training to around 500 officers who, in turn, will train others. It also plans to use Large Taxpayers Units (LTU) for registration of services that are pan-India in nature, such as banking, insurance and telecommunications.
Besides, these officers are also involved in preparing three draft legislations – Central GST, State GST and Integrated GST.
Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das said the three draft legislations are being prepared by three different committees that include senior CBEC officers, officers of department of revenue and of the finance and taxation department of State governments. One panel has already finalised the draft, and the other two are expected to finish by September 15, he said. Das also urged CBEC to analyse service tax collections sectorally.
“We need to analyse why service tax growth hovers around 16 per cent. I feel the potential for service tax growth is higher. I would expect it to grow at least 20-22 per cent, if not more,” he said. On the indirect tax collection target this fiscal, he said the Budget estimate is “very realistic.”
CBEC Chairman Najib Shah said between April and July, the department collected over ₹2.10 lakh crore at a growth rate of over 37 per cent, which is 32 per cent of the full-year’s Budget estimates.