Centre plans to implement it in the next fiscal
Preparing for the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Finance Ministry has kicked-off initial work on the reorganisation of field offices of central excise and service tax.
The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) is understood to be working on a proposal for cadre restructuring of officials of central excise and service tax that can take over once the new indirect tax regime kicks in.
“In this context, the Directorate General of Human Resource Development has been directed to initiate the exercise of formulating a proposal in right earnest,” CBEC said in an internal missive, noting that there will be a need for administrative restructuring under the GST regime.
Central indirect levies, including excise duty and service tax as well as State-level and local taxes, including value-added tax, will be merged into GST.
Data collection work
In this regard, CBEC has also begun collecting data on the number of commissionerates of service tax and central excise and annual turnover-wise assessees for both the levies.
It has also asked field formations to provide information on the number of State-wise and annual turnover-wise assessees of value-added tax as well as the existing organisational structure, appeal and review system for the State levy.
Misses the deadline
The board has also asked all Principal Chief Commissioners to appoint nodal officers to coordinate with State governments on this information as well as provide assistance to the Directorate General of HRD.
Administrative preparedness by the CBEC will help the government roll out the GST at any point during the year, once all legislative clearances have been taken. After missing the deadline of April 1, 2016, for introduction of the tax, the Centre now plans to roll it out mid-way during the next fiscal — either from June 1 or September 1.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is also hoping to get the Constitution Amendment Bill for GST cleared by the Rajya Sabha in the Budget Session of Parliament that starts on February 23.
State Finance Ministers also met Jaitley on February 6 for a pre-Budget discussion but GST was not at the fore of discussions.