The Centre may constitute Goods and Services Tax (GST) council secretariat in a way to ensure postings of Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers in its key positions, an association representing them said in New Delhi. The development comes after a delegation of IRS officers association met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday.
The association said in a statement that the FM assured them that the officers of the department, as well as the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), would be key to GST, and the interest of the officers would not be compromised and no post would be reduced under any circumstance, rather the role would increase, it said.
The association had earlier opposed the composition of GST council secretariat and demanded that the IRS officers be allowed to man it rather than those from Indian Administrative Service (IAS). The Union Cabinet had on September 12, approved appointment of the Secretary (Revenue) as the ex-officio Secretary to the GST council and inclusion of the chairperson, CBEC, as a permanent invitee. Revenue Secretary is usually an IAS officer.
The Cabinet had also approved the creation of one post of Additional Secretary and four posts of Commissioner in the secretariat. The council will decide on the tax rate, exempted goods, and the threshold. The association had demanded that the Secretary of the council be Member (GST) in the CBEC.
The Member GST, being expert in indirect taxation, will not only provide professional inputs to the council to perform in an objective and professional manner, but also he will be able to devote undivided attention for this important responsibility, it had earlier said.
The association informed the Finance Minister that all the states Value Added Tax officers are being trained by IRS officers all over the country, laws and procedures are being framed and new service structure being drafted. All the officers are working on a war footing with full dedication to rolling out GST from April 1, it said.