New Delhi, January 20, 2017

Training of officials almost complete

For a smooth transition of over 80 lakh assessees to the new indirect tax regime being implemented from this July, the Goods and Services Tax Network is setting up a call centre to answer queries.

“Since GST is a completely new tax system, and will have a new method and timeline for filing returns, the proposed call centre will answer all technical queries of taxpayers,” said a senior official.

The GSTN is already involved in setting up the IT infrastructure for the new indirect tax levy, including a common platform for registration of assessees, filing of returns and payment of taxes.

The call centre would be expected to handle queries on all these issues, besides other topics such as audit and scrutiny, refunds, settlement and input tax credit.

Questions through phone calls as well as those received by email would be addressed.
Bids invited

The GSTN has already floated a tender and has invited bids from interested entities for a period of five years.

It proposes to set up the primary call centre in Delhi NCR along with a secondary or disaster recovery centre in a tier two city such as Pune, Bhopal or Vadodara.

“GSTN will launch the Primary Call Centre in the first phase and after three months’ time it would operate the call centre from minimum two locations as a measure to limit operational risk and ensure,” said the tender.

The call centre is likely to work seven days a week between 8 am to 12 am daily.
E-signing facility

Meanwhile, with taxpayers expected to sign at least 12 monthly returns and an annual return under GST each, the GSTN is also looking for an e-sign provider. “Since all returns have to be filed online, the facility of e-signing has to be provided to each taxpayer,” said the official. The taxpayer will be expected to pay for the service.
Training of officials

Moving ahead to implement the GST, training of government officials has now reached the last lap.

According to data with the National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics (NACEN) that is responsible for the training, more than half the targeted 60,000 field officials have been trained. The training of source trainers, master trainers and other trainers has also been completed.

[The Hindu Business Line]