GST council secretariat to have IRS officers

New Delhi, Sep 20 (PTI) The Centre will look into thecomposition of Goods and Services Tax (GST) councilsecretariat to ensure postings of Indian Revenue Service (IRS)officers in its key positions, an association representingthem said today. The development comes after a delegation of IRS officersassociation met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley here yesterday. The Finance Minister has assured them that composition ofthe GST council secretariat would be looked into, theassociation said in a statement. He assured them that the officers of the department aswell as the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) wouldbe key to GST, and the interest of the officers would not becompromised and no post would be reduced under anycircumstance, rather the role would increase, it said. The association had earlier opposed the composition of GSTcouncil secretariat and demanded that the IRS officers beallowed to man it rather than those from Indian AdministrativeService (IAS). The Union Cabinet had on September 12, approvedappointment of the Secretary (Revenue) as the ex-officioSecretary to the GST council and inclusion of the chairperson,CBEC, as a permanent invitee. Revenue Secretary is usually anIAS officer. The Cabinet had also approved creation of one post ofAdditional Secretary and four posts of Commissioner in thesecretariat. The council will decide on the tax rate, exemptedgoods and the threshold. The association had demanded that the Secretary to thecouncil be Member (GST) in the CBEC. The Member GST, being expert in indirect taxation, willnot only provide professional inputs to the council to performin an objective and professional manner, but also he will beable to devote undivided attention for this importantresponsibility, it had earlier said. The association informed the Finance Minister that all thestates Value Added Tax officers are being trained by IRSofficers all over the country, laws and procedures are beingframed and new service structure being drafted. All the officers are working on war footing with fulldedication to make roll out of GST from April 1 a grandsuccess in India, it said. "The implementation of GST has seen rough weather inseveral countries and several governments have lost on thiscount. "The Greek economic crisis is also resultant of faultyimplementation of GST by generalists. However, the associationassured the Finance Minister that officers of this service arecommitted and determined for successful rollout of GST in thecountry and will set an example before the world," theassociation said. PTI AKV DIP RTDIP

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