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GST council raises hackles of revenue service officials

IRS officials are also opposing composition of the Revenue Secretary-led GST council secretariat. The association of the Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) officers has sought Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s intervention in the matter.

“Management of GSTN be entrusted to Directorate General, Systems of Central Board of Excise and Customs, as GSTN is a newly created Special Purpose Vehicle, which does not have any experience in implementing any IT project or domain knowledge in Indirect Tax laws,” the association said in a statement. The government of India holds 24.5 per cent stake in GSTN while state governments together hold another 24.5 per cent. The balance 51 per cent equity is with non-government financial institutions, like HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and LIC Housing Finance.

“DG systems has experience of implementing mega pan-India IT projects for over twenty years and has the necessary domain knowledge and expertise to manage GSTN,” said the body. The cadre strength of IRS (Customs and Central Excise) is nearly 3,000.

Opposing composition of the GST council secretariat, it demanded that IRS officers be allowed to man it rather than those from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). The Union Cabinet on Monday last approved appointment of the Secretary (Revenue) as the ex-officio Secretary to the GST council and inclusion of the chairperson, CBEC, as a permanent invitee. Revenue Secretary has always been an IAS officer.

It has been claimed that since GSTN is funded by central and state governments, there is no justification in entrusting its management to private individuals with fat salary and allowance. 
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