Rechristening of the apex indirect tax policy-making body CBEC to Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) is likely to happen by April after the budgetary exercise gets Parliament nod. With excise duty, service tax, alongside nearly a dozen other central and state levies being subsumed in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rolled out from July 1, the ambit of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has widened. In his budget speech for 2018-19, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said with the roll out of GST the name of CBEC would be changed to CBIC. “Through Finance Bill 2018, we are amending the Central Boards of Revenue (CBR) Act, 1963, as well as the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, replacing CBEC with CBIC,” a government official told PTI. The official said since the CBR Act provides for constitution of separate boards of revenue for direct taxes and excise and customs, the name of CBEC has to be replaced with CBIC in the Act. Also, the Central GST Act mention CBEC, but the Integrated GST (IGST) and the Union Territory GST (UTGST) talks of only ‘Board’ without elaborating. “Once the amendments are cleared by Parliament, the government will notify the changed name of CBIC,” the official said. The Finance Bill is likely to get Parliament approval in the second leg of Budget which is slated to begin on March 5 and end on April 6. The official said that while the name of some departments within CBEC like NACIN, DGGSTI, is in line with the new work profile of the Board, the name change of CBEC was delayed as a couple of amendments had to be carried out through the Finance Bill.
The National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes & Narcotics (NACIN) is the premier training institute and is under the administrative control of CBEC. Besides, the Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI) has already been renamed as the Directorate General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence (DGGSTI). Besides, the Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management (DGARM) was set up last year to provide analysis of data relating to customs, excise and GST. The re-organisation of field formations of the CBEC for implementation of GST, and its renaming to CBIC was approved by Jaitley in March last year.
GST was introduced from July 1, 2017. With legislative approval not in place for change of name, CBEC has been notifying all rules and provisions of the new indirect tax regime. As per the reorganisation plan, the proposed CBIC will supervise the work of all its field formations and directorates and assist the government in policymaking in relation to GST, while continuing central excise levy and Customs functions. The CBIC will have 21 zones and GST Taxpayer Services Commissionerates.