‘Vikrikar Bhavan’, headquarters of Maharashtra government’s erstwhile Sales Tax department, was today renamed as ‘GST Bhavan” as the new tax regime rolled out. Maharashtra Finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and minister of state for Finance Deepak Kesarkar attended the ceremony at the Bhavan, located in south Mumbai’s Mazgaon area. Senior IAS officer Rajiv Jalota, State GST Commissioner, informed the gathering that the department has planned a helpline to assist traders and business community who have queries about GST implementation and modalities.
GST also means ‘Garibon ki Seva karnewala Tax’ (tax which helps the poor), Mungantiwar said. “There are some doubts in minds of traders (over GST),” the BJP minister said. “It is our duty as employees of this department, to resolve their queries,” he added. The GST department should not trouble traders, Mungantiwar said.
He recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had equated transition to GST regime to a person getting new spectacles and getting used to wearing them in a few days. “The chief minister (Devendra Fadnavis) had offered me the Revenue portfolio but I declined, saying I would like to concentrate on dhan (finance) and van (forests),” Mungantiwar said. In two years, the ‘GST Bhavan’ will be shifted to Wadala from Mazgaon, he said, adding work should start by October this year.