Positive GST protest: States’ tax officers opt to work on a Sunday
Adopting an innovative “positive form of protest”, tax officers working with various state governments came to work on Sunday on a holiday to press for their demand of having a fair share in the administration of taxes under the GST regime.
The All India Confederation of Commercial Taxes Association (AICCTA), which claims to represent over 36,000 Gazetted officers and about two lakh employees of Class-III and IV categories, had given a call for this positive form of protest by working on Sunday.
The Uttarakhand Commercial Tax Service Association and similar associations of other states, following directions from All India Confederation of Commercial Taxes Association, joined this protest by coming to work on their weekly off day as a normal working day from 10 am to 5 pm.
Uttarakhand Commercial Tax Service Association president Yashpal Singh, who is also head of the NCR chapter of All India Confederation of Commercial Taxes Association, said a considerable number of employees across at least 15 states came to work today while details from other states were also pouring in.
An association representative said the move is part of continued protest of states commercial tax departments under AICCTA for their just rights in the GST regime. The AICCTA has said its members will also go on day-long “pen down strike” on November 23 if their demands are not accepted by the government.
The confederation has sought complete authority relating to monitoring, audit, assessment and enforcement activities provided either under the GST Act or under the Integrated Goods and
Services Tax — to be levied on all inter-state supplies of goods and services.
“It is also demanded that the state authorities should also be empowered under IGST Act to administer matters relating to interstate transactions,” as per a memorandum submitted to the Finance Ministry.
The officers’ body has sought representation of officers from the states in GST council secretariat. “It is demanded that the GST council provide sufficient funds to the states to establish a uniform infrastructural and networking system,” it said.
The proposed GST is a single tax on supply of goods and services, right from the manufacturer to the consumer. The ‘positive protest’ today took place on a day when Union Finance Minster Arun Jaitley had called an informal meeting of all the state finance ministers.
“This is also symbolic of the fact that the state tax departments are serious and sensitive towards their job of collection of tax. “This also reflects the fact that the state tax administration is responsible towards its responsibilities,” an association representative said.
The state tax departments, by working on a weekly off want to reiterate that they are neither against GST nor against state governments but want to protest against any bias in administration of the new GST regime, he added.