New Delhi, November 17, 2017

Committee of State Finance Ministers to review GSTN at a meeting today

Making the Goods and Services Tax (GST) more user-friendly with simpler IT procedures for filing of returns and HSN Code is the main priority for the Centre and States after rationalising the rate structure.

“After the Guwahati meeting of the GST Council, over 80 per cent of the issues regarding rates have been resolved. Now the focus is on processes, how to simplify the forms,” said Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi.

Modi, who is also the Finance Minister of Bihar, heads the committee of State Finance Ministers of the GST Council that is looking at issues relating to IT and GST.

The Committee is scheduled to hold its fourth meeting on Saturday to review the performance of GSTN and examine any new issues that may have sprung up.

“GST Network should also be made more user-friendly with an interactive mode… taxpayers should be able to preview forms, have offline tools for all forms. Further, the PDF form should have the feature to be downloaded, edited and printed,” he told BusinessLine in an interview. Pointing out that nearly 40 per cent of the return filers have zero GST liability, Modi said that they should not have to file a complicated return form but instead have the facility of a simple two-step filing. Similarly, while invoice matching in GSTR -2 has been deferred, the effort will be to simplify it for taxpayers, as will be the case for finding HSN Code for the tax rates. Modi further said that GSTN and Infosys, which is the technology provider, have been working closely with the committee on all issues.

“We are incorporating suggestions and complaints of people of people on a real-time basis,” he said.

The committee also plans to ask Infosys to assign one resident engineer from the company in each State. “The engineer will work as a link between Infosys and GSTN,” Modi said.

The progress of the backend GST systems of Module 2 States such as Bihar will also be reviewed at the meeting. The States have asked Infosys to build their backend IT system for GST.

[The Hindu Business Line]