Finmin issues order to call it Directorate General of Goods and Service Tax; headquarters shifted to New Delhi from Mumbai though political logjam doesn’t guarantee passage of the Bill in this session
The intense political wrangling may have put the passage of Goods and Services Tax Bill this monsoon session in cloud, but that is not stopping the government to ready the paraphernalia to implement the Act from the word go.
The government has renamed Directorate General of Service Tax (DGST) as Directorate General of Goods and Service Tax (DGGST) with effect from August 1, 2015.
It has decided to shift the headquarters of DGGST to Delhi from Mumbai. Consequently, the post of principal DG has been shifted to the national capital.
All records of DGST, Mumbai, will continue to be maintained in the existing office till instructions regarding their transfer are issued. “The cadre controlling principal chief commissioner Mumbai will make suitable arrangements like ensuring that charge DDO, DGST is held by a DDO in Mumbai,” a finance ministry order said. The DDO will be eventually based in Delhi.
The Bill which was first introduced by the earlier UPA government has seen several twists and turns over the years. It was expected to be passed during the ongoing Parliamentary session. However, with opposition parties leading a logjam, it passage is not certain.
With only about nine days remaining of the session, there are at least 11 key Bills awaiting Parliament’s consideration. The most important of the GST Bill, which is aimed at simplifying the tax system by unifying most indirect taxes of the central and state governments.
The order said, “All records of DGST Mumbai will continue to be maintained in the existing office till instructions regarding their transfer are issued. It is further decided that the staff posted in the DGST, since their services are being placed on loan basis to other formations, will continue to draw their salaries from DGST.”
The heat over GST had escalated after finance minister, Arun Jaitley blasted the Congress saying that the opposition party’s “obstructionist tendencies inflict an economic injury on the country.” Reacting to it on Monday, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh had tweeted, “Why the BJP didn’t allow the Bill to be passed from 2006 to 2014?” “Because Arun Jaitley then believed obstructionism is a legitimate Parliamentary practice. Another major U-turn and major political opportunism.”