The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has brought the deadline forward for IT training of officials ahead of the July 1 roll-out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Last week, the finance ministry said only 40% of tax officials had been trained on the GST portal run by the GST Network. “Out of 62,937 tax officials, 24,668 have been given hands-on training on the application software on live system while the remaining officials will be trained by June 15.
The training is being conducted on registration, returns and payment modules developed by GSTN,” the finance ministry had said last week after the revenue secretary reviewed the preparedness of CBEC and GSTN. In her weekly letter to the CBEC staff on Friday last week, chairperson Vanaja Sarna said there was a huge difference between the working strength of tax officials and the number of officials trained, which could be detrimental to smooth roll-out of GST.
“For this, it is required to revamp the training schedule with a view to complete the training within the stipulated time. Member (IT) would separately be communicating with the chief commissioners in this regard with timeline details,” Sarna added. She emphasised that all officials must be trained on GST portal by May 31, which is 15 days sooner than the finance ministry’s assessment for training the remaining officials.
In the run-up to GST, CBEC, the apex policymaking body for indirect taxes, has been rechristened the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC). CBIC would supervise the work of all its field formations and directorates and assist the government in policymaking in relation to GST, continuing central excise levy and customs functions. The existing formations of central excise and service tax under the CBEC have been reorganised to implement and enforce the provisions of the proposed GST laws.