The composition of Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), a private company tasked to create Information Technology infrastructure for GST, is under examination to give to the Centre majority stake in it.
The government of India presently has 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.
The development comes after apprehensions were raised against GSTN by many stake holders including association of Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) officers.
It had said since GSTN is funded by the central and state governments, there is no justification in entrusting its management to private individuals with heavy salary and allowance.
“The central government is examining GSTN and may hold majority stake. This move has addressed our concern that such a valuable asset should not be controlled by private entities,” a spokesperson of the IRS association said.
The association said that the model Goods and Services Tax (GST) law and rules are being framed. “Over 60,000 officers from the central and state governments are being trained by IRS officers, awareness to trade and industry is also being created,” the spokesperson said.
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The Centre has also notified GST Council, to be headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, which will decide on the tax rate, exempted goods and the threshold under the new taxation regime.
The government is planning to introduce GST legislations — Central GST (CGST) and Integrated GST (IGST) — in Winter Session of Parliament in November.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also directed all officers to ensure that steps are taken to stick to the April 2017 roll out date.
“The officers have shown their readiness and determination for the successful implementation of the GST as called from by the Prime Minister,” the IRS association said.
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