It has been almost 3 days since Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee launch the most awaited Goods and Services Tax (GST). Keeping in mind the ongoing protest and dissatisfaction by textile players and small traders, the Finance Ministry has deployed a team of 10 central government officers at the GST Feedback and Action Room to keep a track of real-time feedback over the recent implemented tax transition in the country. The team is operational for 14 hours on a daily basis starting from 8 am, reported Indian Express. Speaking to the paper about the same, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Chairman Vanaja N Sarna said, “While the team has been deployed to address basic queries related to GST, it forwards the complex questions to designated officials for prompt responses.”
“All queries are being placed on a broadsheet, where we can monitor everything that is coming in, and a senior additional commissioner-level officer helps to coordinate the work… they are filling in details of the feedback — like who is the caller, what time did the call come, what is the issue involved, if it can be solved at their level because they have been briefed and they are all officers of CBEC. They have undergone training, so they are able to answer most of the simple questions. But, if it’s a little more complex, they direct the queries to the concerned official,” he added further.
The issue was also acknowledged by the Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia as he said that the mechanism was working in a smooth manner at their end. Speaking to Indian Express, Adhia further said that the feedback is ‘so far, so good.’ Even state level finance ministry officials are sending their feedback to the team which is being examined, alongside external feedback platforms such as Twitter.
“Twitter handles are being handled by Directorate General of Taxpayer Services. There are two Twitter handles and there is a group designated to handle this. They are mostly from the GST policy wing of the CBEC, they are divided among officers section-wise — registration, returns, refunds, migration,” said Sarna.
Even the CBEC has analysed the queries that were tweeted and on the basis of the same, it has brought out advertisements on FAQs ( Frequently Asked Questions) and is planning to issue pictorials of household consumption items in the next two-three days, grouping them into categories of food items, toiletries, stationeries among others to spread awareness about tax slabs, she added.
As per the report, taxpayers are eager to know about tax rates on various items, registration, composition scheme among others. Citing some queries, the report mentioned that new registrants claimed they had not received provisional ID, while some asked whether they needed separate registration for trade in goods and services.