As GST deadline nears, officers, consultants bone-up on laws and rules

Surabhi New Delhi | Updated on January 11, 2018 Published on May 08, 2017

Vanaja N. Sarna, Chairperson, CBEC

CBEC urges officials to update their knowledge

With regulations for the country’s largest tax reform still being firmed up, tax officials as well as consultants are constantly brushing up on their knowledge on the new levy.

The Central Board of Excise and Customs has now asked its officials to work out an in-house mechanism for updating their knowledge on the goods and services tax.

Following such a move in the Ahmedabad Zone, the CBEC has now asked its field formations to prepare presentations and hold routine training and awareness updates for its officials and staff on GST.

While officers of the Union Finance Ministry and States have been receiving training at the National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics (NACEN), the CBEC now feels that it may be a good idea to revise their knowledge on GST given the lack of time and the various revisions in the draft law as well as rules.

“Since the new regime is all set for roll out from July 1, 2017, very little time is left to equip our officers with the requisite updated knowledge on GTS,” said CBEC Chairperson Vanaja N Sarna in a recent missive, noting that this is especially essential for the legislative and procedural aspects of the new law.

All five enabling legislations for GST for Centre, State, Union Territories as well as the Compensation Act are now finalised along with a half a dozen rules. The remaining rules are likely to be cleared by the GST Council in the next round of meetings.

Meanwhile, NACEN has nearly finished training all the Central and State value added tax officers, including 60,000 field officers and nearly 2,500 trainers.

Tax consultants and experts too are facing a similar dilemma and many firms are holding regular meetings to discuss all aspects of GST.

“We have been keeping a close watch on the developments relating to GST. We also meet on a daily basis to discuss and analyse various aspects of the GST laws,” said a consultant who did not wish to be named.

Similarly, other experts said that they have attended training and awareness sessions on GST, read up on the legislations and been for industry and government interactive sessions to clear doubts.

The CBEC on its part has been holding regular awareness campaigns for trade and industry. At the last count, it had held over 1,300 such sessions.

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Published on May 08, 2017
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