GST rollout, launch in India: While the rollout day of July 1 will be known as ‘GST Day’, all the offices of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) have been instructed to be open on Saturday as a trade facilitation measure. As India transits to a new era with rollout of GST, the government is leaving no stone unturned for a smooth switchover and has asked tax offices to convert into GST Seva-Kendras to provide all assistance to tax payers. This was to enable the availability of officers and staff for the benefit of trade and industry, an order issued by CBEC Special Secretary and Member S Ramesh said. “Henceforth, all field offices from the Chief Commissioner’s office to the Range should serve as GST Seva- Kendras for effective trade facilitation,” it said. Apart from giving guidance to GST assessees, GST Seva Kendras should render assistance to taxpayers in migration, registration as well as filing of returns. A guidance manual for such GST Seva Kendras too has been circulated to all offices in a bid to standardise quality taxpayer services.
The order instructed such manuals to be prepared for each zone operating at different levels. “This work may be done in a time-bound manner so as to be completed in next 2-3 days,” Ramesh wrote.
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CBEC also asked for strengthening of the GST Seva-Kendras to enable them discharge their functions effectively and promptly. In the run-up to the GST rollout, CBEC had organised outreach programmes and training sessions for the new regime. “July one will be known as ‘GST Day’ and celebrated in all offices of CBEC just as we celebrate Central Excise Day and International Customs Day,” he wrote. CBEC also instructed putting up of banners welcoming members of the trade and industry for any facilitation at all field offices. “Name board of the field offices may be suitably re-named as Central GST Zone/ Commissionerate/ Division/ Range. The logo ‘One Nation, One Tax, One Market’ may be displayed prominently on the name boards/banners/office letterheads,” it said.