In run-up to GST, Cabinet approves Rs 2,200-crore Saksham project

By: | Published: September 29, 2016 6:35 AM

Project Saksham, a new indirect tax network of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), has been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday.

Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu. (PTI)Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu. (PTI)

Project Saksham, a new indirect tax network of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), has been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be Rs 2,256 crore, which will be incurred over seven years. This would help integrate CBEC IT systems with the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN).

The project would facilitate extension of the Indian Customs Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade (SWIFT) and other taxpayer initiatives under ‘Digital India’ and ease of doing business of the CBEC, the government said in a statement.

The implementation strategy for the project will be to ensure readiness of CBEC’s IT systems by April 1, 2017, when GST is to be introduced. The upgrade of the IT systems will be carried out while keeping the existing taxpayer services running.

With the implementation of GST, the government expects the number of taxpayers under indirect tax laws to increase from the current 36 lakh to about 65 lakh.

CBEC’s IT systems need to integrate with the GSTN for processing of registration, payment and returns data sent by GSTN systems to CBEC, as well as act as a front-end for other modules like audit, appeal and investigation.

There is no overlap in the GST-related systems of CBEC and GSTN.

This IT infrastructure is also required for continuation of CBEC’s e-services in customs, central excise and service tax, implementation of taxpayer services such as scanned document upload facility, extension of SWIFT initiative and integration with government initiatives such as e-Nivesh, e-Taal and e-Sign.

Cabinet ratifies Paris agreement The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved ratification of the Paris agreement on climate change which was signed by 185 countries in December last year.

As announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, India would submit its instrument of ratification aimed at reducing global emission of greenhouse gases after 2020 to the United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon on October 2, which is also the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

With India ratifying the Paris agreement, also referred to as the 21st meeting of Conference of Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the treaty would come into force shortly.

According to an official statement, the Paris treaty comes into force as and when 55 countries contributing to 55% of total global emission ratify the agreement. So far, 61 countries have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval accounting in total for 47.79% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions.

Former environment minister Prakash Javadekar said India’s move will bring the total emissions to 51.89%. “Because of India’s push, the world will ratify the deal soon. It will become an irreversible course of action for humankind. It is a common resolve to keep temperature rise below 2 degree Celsius,” he said after the Cabinet meeting.

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