This was stated by CBEC Chairman Najib Shah in a recent letter to his officers, where he also urged them to “welcome” the Goods and Services Tax.
“As a Central service, CBEC will continue to collect the Central GST and integrated GST…We are in the process of encardering 50 per cent of all posts in the GST Council Secretariat for CBEC,” he said, adding that the department has also called for willing officers to take up some more posts in the GSTN.
The GST Secretariat, located here, will be the administrative headquarters of the GST Council that will decide on all key issues related to the tax.
“The Directorate of Systems is in the process of being strengthened, the IT infrastructure is being revamped and upgraded to meet the requirement of GST. The GSTN already has CBEC officers on deputation,” he said.
Shah also expressed dismay at concerns being expressed in some quarters and asked his officials to “rise up to the challenges” to ensure the success of the indirect tax reform. “We are at the cusp of the most historic change in the indirect tax structure and should welcome the opportunity,” he said.
An association representing officers of the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) had written to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, seeking the transfer of the management of GSTN to the Directorate General Systems of CBEC.
Shah also noted that petroleum and tobacco products, which account for substantial revenues, will continue to attract Central excise duty and will be out of the ambit of GST.
The CBEC is in the process of restructuring its central excise and service tax commissionerates for the rollout of GST from April 1, 2017, under which there will be a single uniform levy replacing the two Central levies, State value added tax and other local cesses and levies.
The CBEC is also likely to be renamed as the Central Board of Indirect Taxes.
In this context, the CBEC Chairman said the changes must be embraced and the officials must take the lead in the restructuring. “Change management will be of paramount importance. We will have to provide a lead role in meeting the implementation challenges, training the officials and trade and industry, holding workshops, acquiring and imparting necessary IT skills.”
He further said that about 60,000 tax officials of both the Centre and the States will be trained in the next few months on GST law.