States asked to deploy extra staff to solve GST issues

States asked to deploy extra staff to solve GST issues

States asked to deploy extra staff to solve GST issues

Amid mass complaints of malfunctioning of GST network, the Centre has asked the state governments to rope in their officials and vigorously train local leaders to solve traders' problems in paying taxes and filing GST returns.

The move comes after a widespread criticism of Infosys having nearly failed to manage IT infrastructure of GST Network even four months after the roll out of Goods and Services Tax.

The preparations for a robust IT infrastructure for GST has been going on for the past three years and the government has spent around Rs 1,400 crore on it.

Infosys, which has been managing the IT infrastructure, was earlier asked to send teams in each and every state to assist tax administration.

But the findings at various level suggest that still there is absolute lack of awareness about the new system among traders in Tier-II, Tier-III cities and remote towns.

The government is now sending officials at the district level to solve problems arising out of payment of taxes and filing of returns as also to assist the traders in filing refund claims and input credit.

Major crisis brewing

The team of officials have been asked to report to the GST Cell in the finance ministry about any other technical glitches that they cannot handle.

The government is staring at a major crisis if the technical glitches are not corrected in the GST system ahead of Assembly elections in two major states, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state Gujarat.

The All India Traders' body CAIT has already demanded a white paper from the government on the current status of GST.

It has also called for a CBI probe into the delay in rectifying the IT network by Infosys and other companies.

The unrest among traders, especially the textile hubs of Gujarat has prompted the Centre to move faster to find a solution.

A majority of traders have not been able to file their first month's return. The Centre has extended the deadline four times since July.