Nagpur, April 21, 2018

Union finance secretary Hasmukh Adhia admitted that there has been leakage in goods and services tax (GST) collection and a perfect system of cross-checking sales and purchases has not been put in place yet.

“An entirely new system is being worked out which is expected to be introduced in next three to six months,” said Adhia.

He was talking to media on the sidelines of a passing out function at National Academy of Direct Taxes (NADT), where he was the chief guest. Officers joining the income tax department through the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) cadre are trained at NADT.

Under the original system, it was planned to have GST returns of numbered 1, 2 and 3. The first two were supposed to provide details of outward and inward movement of goods and third a summary of both. At present, only the GST 1 returns are there, and a summary return of outward and inward transactions is filed under GSTR 3B, which is basically a self-assessment. Sources say this leaves a scope of inflating the input tax credit claims.

At NADT, Adhia said, “the details mentioned in the GST returns 1 and 3B are being matched and malpractices are being detected. Of course, a perfect cross-checking of the data is not possible under the current regime due to which a new system is being worked out.” This will be a departure from the existing procedure, he clarified.

Earlier, addressing the passing out officers during the function, Adhia was all praise for finance minister Arun Jaitley. He said the finance minister, who also heads the GST council, is a “fatherly figure”.

Emphasizing on taking fast decisions, he said even the government had taken decisions in time. “Otherwise it had taken 10 years for GST to come in,” he said.

“GST is a new system and decisions had to to be taken considering the situation. We did not hesitate and took decision on various aspects like framing of law, fixing slab of rates, aspects like having advance ruling or penal provisions in the law. All the issues had to be examined and a decision had to be taken within a limited period,” he said.

About Jaitley, he said there have been 26 meetings of the GST council since the constitutional amendment and the finance minister was present in each of them. “Some of the meetings lasted for two days,” said Adhia.

On a spiritual note, he advised the officers to not get disturbed by their failures and also not let the success make them proud.

[The Times of India]