DoE red flags large expenditure by GST-Network


Ashwini Shrivastava

New Delhi, Jun 26 (PTI) Large expenditure by Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), a special purpose vehicle set up to provide IT infrastructure for implementation of the GST, besides a proposed loan of Rs 515 crore, has been red-flagged by the Department of Expenditure.

It has favoured a “holistic examination” of the working of the GSTN and suggested that its work can be done internally by the government agencies, official sources said today.

The GSTN was set up as a not-for-profit private limited company in 2013 to provide Information Technology (IT) infrastructure and services to the central and state governments, tax payers and other stakeholders for implementation of the Goods and Services Tax–a single indirect tax which will be levied on goods and services across India.

The GST will replace most of the central and state indirect taxes such as Value Added Tax (VAT), excise duty, service tax, central sales tax, additional customs duty and special additional duty of customs.

The Department of Expenditure has raised the issue of substantial administrative cost in running of GSTN with around 45 employees all of whom have been hired at market rates and given additional facilities like house rent, car and other allowances besides productivity linked incentives, with the authorities concerned, they said. There is no central government employee working in the company.

It has suggested that the two bodies under the Department of Revenue–Central Board of Direct Taxes and Central Board of Excise and Customs–are managing various tax related programmes and can manage GSTN effectively at lesser cost, the sources said.

About Rs 145 crore has been released by the government to the GSTN since its inception. Further, an amount of Rs 515 crore has been sought as a loan by the company for meeting its expenses. The Department of Expenditure has expressed its reservations over the expenses, the sources said.


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