06.11.2023: Government likely to review, streamline GST, indirect tax processes in November

The government is likely to hold a series of meetings in November to review, and streamline processes in indirect taxation, including the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a senior government official said.

“There will be a series of meetings to review not only GST but the indirect taxation processes. There will be brainstorming on what we can do better, review the current processes, etc. The internal processes will be deliberated upon. The focus will be on things that we need to streamline,” the official told Moneycontrol.

“It will be a relook, rethink at the way internal processes are working. It will be a deep examination. The meet will focus on the GSTN portal's functioning, indirect tax processes, ease of filing returns, and technical glitches, if any,” he added. The GST Network provides the technology backend.

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) is aiming to utilise this time since the upcoming budget is not a full budget but a vote on account due to the impending general elections next year.

“Since we are not having a full budget, it is a good time to look at internal processes. Many works may be skewed, for which time is needed to knock it back in shape,” he said.

A vote on account budget is the one by which the incumbent government obtains permission from Parliament to draw money from the Consolidated Fund of India to meet expenses till elections are completed.

These review meetings will be attended by the top officials of CBIC, GSTN and all the field units as well. “Officials at the top to the ones who actually look at the processes, all will attend,” he said.

The government's GST collections climbed 13 percent year-on-year in October to Rs 1.72 lakh crore, the second-highest revenue collection ever.

The meetings will ensure that the processes and the GSTN portal are all in place before GST collection begins in the new financial year.

With the expansion of the tax base and enforcement measures, GST revenue collection has come a long way. GST was rolled out on July 1, 2017. That month, Rs 95,633 was collected. From there, to a low of Rs 32,172 in May 2020 during the pandemic, to Rs 1.72 lakh crore this October, GST has come a long way. Boosting GST revenue used to be a challenge, with the average monthly collection remaining stubbornly below Rs 1 lakh crore. The GST system in the initial years had also faced a lot of flak from taxpayers due to back-end issues resulting in the slow functioning of the portal.

Source: Money Control

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