The new Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has listed ensuring preparedness for Goods & Services Tax (GST), bringing transparency in the tax administration, and curbing corrupt practices in the tax department as his top priorities. Adhia took charge as Revenue Secretary on Tuesday.

“Simplification of rules and procedures and transparency through use of technology will be the topmost items that will get my attention in the next few months. This would also mean that we would like to also identify certain bad elements in the department because of whom the department has got a bad name and we would like to sort of take care of those elements so that they do not anymore spoil the name of the department,” the Gujarat cadre IAS officer of the 1981 batch told presspersons here after taking charge.

He emphasised the need for bringing information technology in a big way in the administration of the taxes. “What I hear from various sections of society, various taxpayers is we have got some of the most complicated laws and on top of it a lot of rules, notifications, which makes it complicated for people to understand taxation,” he said but refused to go into the micro details of any particular law and rule.

Talking about GST, he said whenever the constitution amendment bill is passed, whenever the GST related central act is passed, the tax authorities should be ready with the preparedness part of it. “I'd like to go from State to State and also review the position of GST here and see to it that all the States are at least ready for the purpose of implementation as and when the legislative work is done,” he said. The Government intends to implement GST from April 1 next year but is facing uncertainty as there is a stalemate over the GST-related Constitution Amendment Bill.

He also invited people to give their suggestions on taxation reforms and reforms required in procedures. He said taxpayers could get in touch with him on his personal e-mail. “I can assure everybody that even the whistleblowers can feel free to write to me. Nobody else can open it. Only I open those e-mails. So people can be assured that the information will be very, very confidential and I'd like people to give me information about malpractices going on or even the suggestions which can improve the tax administration. Through this we can improve our tax administration to a better position,” he said.

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