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IT network for goods and services tax by August: Pranab Mukherjee
February, 23rd 2012

India will soon roll out an IT platform to integrate central and state indirect taxes regime, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said.

"We are working with the state governments for an early implementation of goods and services tax. Towards this end, an IT network called GSTN is being created to ensure integration of the tax systems of the centre and the states," Mukherjee said at the investiture ceremony to confer Presidential Award of Appreciation Certificates to Customs and Central Excise officers.

States had given their in-principle nod to launch the IT framework in August and the finance ministry is expected to soon take the proposal to the cabinet for its nod.

A common IT framework will allow traders all over the country to use their permanent account number, or PAN, as the tax identification number for payment of all direct and indirect taxes. The move will not only benefit taxpayers but also tax authorities to keep a tab on transactions more effectively by linking it with other tax payments.

Mukherjee said GST will bring about a paradigm shift in the arena of indirect taxation in the country and will give a boost to the tax revenues of the centre and the states.

IT infrastructure is crucial for the success of the proposed GST, which will replace a plethora of indirect taxes including excise duty, service tax, value-added tax.

Speaking on tax collections, Mukherjee said the indirect tax collection target of 3.93 lakh crore will be met in the current fiscal despite moderation in economic growth. "I am confident that the department (Central Board of Excise and Customs) would not spare any effort in meeting the indirect tax collection target. In fact, already indications are there," he said. Total collection of indirect taxes in the first 10 months of the current fiscal was 3.17 lakh crore.

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