Reverse decisions of GST Council: IRS officers

Reverse decisions of GST Council: IRS officers

The Association of Indian Revenue Services (IRS) officers has shot a letter to the prime minister seeking reversal of certain decisions taken by the GST Council last month.

Earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had warned IRS officers against expressing their reservations over GST. The letter seeks revision of assessees below Rs 1.5 crore turnover from 90:10 in favour of the states as decided by the GST Council to an equal 50:50 ratio, reverting Integrated GST to the Centre and exclusive role of the Centre in territorial waters.

The letter says distribution of assessees in the ratio of 90:10 is unfair and reduces the legitimate work and career aspirations of the officers of Central Board of Excise and Customs.

“This decision would lead to the assessee base of the CBEC becoming extremely small bringing into risk the very survival of the department. The vertical division in the ratio of 90:10 below Rs 1.5 crore could lead to only 18% of the assessee base being available with the Centre.

With this ratio, the Centre may lose revenue of about Rs 1.1 lakh crore,” president of IRS Association Anup K Srivastava stated in the letter. “Besides, IGST assessment errors by state officials would go outside the oversight of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and Public Accounts Committee.

“At present, big service tax assessees in sectors such as aviation, telecom and insurance face just one tax assessment point; but in the new GST, they will face 30 tax administrations. This belies the promise of ‘One Nation One Tax,” the letter read. The association has also raised the issue of states having little experience of service tax.

“Under Article 258 of the Constitution, the delegation of power by the Centre to the states is an extraordinary power used “only where the central bureaucracy isn’t available,” the letter read.

“The IRS officers have high, specialised expertise in dealing with complex items such as GST than a generalist IAS. But, there was no revenue service representation in the GST Council to give expert advice. The CBEC chairman was only an invitee,” it said.

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