At least 50,000 letters will be sent by indirect tax officials to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention to ensure successful roll-out of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
A decision in this regard was taken during a meeting of representatives of All India Association of Central Excise Gazetted Executive Officers and those from Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise).
“We have decided that each employee working under Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) will write a letter to the Prime Minister seeking his intervention for the successful GST.
“Though there are about 85,000 indirect tax employees working at various levels across the country, at least 50,000 letters will be sent to the Prime Minister within next two days,” said Anup Kumar Srivastava, President of IRS officers association.
He said through letters, the Prime Minister will be requested to revisit some of the decisions taken by the GST Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in its meeting on 16 January.
“There are certain issues concerning economic interests of the nation and concerning such a large work force like ours, who have been working for GST tirelessly for last 10 years and we want that these are resolved immediately to make roll-out of GST successful,” he told .
The GST Council had in its meeting agreed to give states the powers to levy tax on economic activity within 12 nautical miles of territorial waters and to administer 90 per cent of the tax payers under Rs 1.5 crore annual turnover.
The indirect tax employees unions are demanding that the GST Council decisions are reviewed. They have also expressed concerns over Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) — a private company set up to provide information technology infrastructure for the implementation of the new tax regime, saying that it may be put under the CBEC.
In a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) earlier, the IRS officers’ body had highlighted the serious security and financial concerns raised by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the Home Ministry against the GSTN.
As per draft of the letter to be written to the PM, the employees have objected to some of the provisions of the draft GST law.
“GST law has been framed in light of experience of incremental tax reforms of the central government starting from the era of MODVAT (Modified VAT) in 1986. CBEC and its subordinate offices, in tune with the international best practices adopted vide experience in customs administration, gradually underwent from a control based obtrusive framework to trust based non obtrusive administration that worked primarily to facilitate business.
“This emphasis was not only required, rather it was sine qua non (an essential condition) for the ease of doing business so that Indian business can be globally competitive. On other hand, the state administration has yet to evolve such framework,” the draft letter to the PM reads.
It is highly desirable for the GST Council to do away with these provisions of draft GST law to truly make the pan-India movement of goods seamless besides helping the transportation industry immensely, it said.
The employees will also be seeking the Prime Minister’s help in getting pay and career-related benefits enjoyed by their counterparts.
“It is worth to mention that no scheme has been introduced to remove acute stagnation of our officers despite the decision already taken by the Cabinet to bring some scheme independent of cadre restructuring to remove their stagnation,” it said.