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Moneycontrol Exclusive: Govt plans overhaul of tax administration for smooth GST rollout
October, 06th 2016

The government has readied plans for a major change in India’s tax administration structure, including overhauling the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) to ensure a glitch-free roll-out of a nation-wide goods and services tax (GST).

The plan, reviewed by Moneycontrol, includes setting up of empowered GST commissionerates within the CBEC that will be tasked with administering the new tax system.

GST, billed as India’s most ambitious reforms move, will stitch together a common national market, dismantle fiscal barriers among states and consolidate a patchwork of local and central duties into a single levy.

The government expects to roll out GST from April 1, 2017.

For the purposes of administration, the country will be divided into 24 zones and 107 GST commissionerates.

Each commissionerate will have oversight rights over 15,000-20,000 assessees with combined revenues of about Rs 5000 crore.

Every state, except those with very small assessee-base, will have at least one commissionerate, which will be broken down into five divisions and 50 ranges for each.

Besides, there will be one audit and one appeal commissioner for every GST commissionerate.

With 3.34 lakh assesses, Mahrashtra will have 20 GST commissionerates—the highest among all states.

A Directorate General of Dispute Resolution (DGDR) will also be set up, to deal with possible Centre-state and inter-state rows that may arise after the new tax system kicks in.

The DGDR will maintain data bank of judicial decisions, analyse dispute issues for identifying patterns and examine orders to assess fitness for appeals among others.

Separate adjudication verticals will be set up in seven major cities-- in Delhi, Gandhinagar, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata--reporting directly to DGDR—Delhi, Gandhinagar, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

A new sleuthing unit—Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGSTI)—will be set up tasked with keeping a close eye on compliance and detecting and collating information on tax.

There will be at least one unit of DGSTI, which will replace the existing Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI).

The existing Customs and Service Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), however, a judicial body, will continue to run concurrently to deal with legacy cases, some which go back more than a decade.

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