Unique Identity Authority of India (UID) chairman and Empowered Group, IT Infrastructure for Goods and Services Tax (GST), chairman Nandan Nilekani on Wednesday called on deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi at Bihar Bhawan in New Delhi. They discussed an initiative for centralized IT infrastructure for GST across the states.
Nilekani said that such an infrastructure can at present be used for VAT and later it will be available for GST. Modi, being the elected chairman of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers which is spearheading the implementation of the GST, discussed with Nilekani the use of IT infrastructure for GST applications.
Nilekani said that in such an infrastructure, a common portal will provide three core services (registration, returns and payments). This will also have the facility of reconciliation of transaction across different taxes -- VAT, income tax, and Central excise -- and this would lead to detection of tax evasion and plugging of loopholes.
Modi appreciated Nilekani's initiative and added that all the finance ministers of states have stressed on a robust IT infrastructure for successful implementation of GST. Nilekani proposed that a company could be registered having a shareholding contribution from states for development and operation of such an IT infrastructure. The discussions included the benefits of such pilot projects in Maharashtra and Gujarat and their use in other states. Nilekani also discussed with Modi the measures for implementation of the UID project in Bihar. Modi assured all assistance in this regard.
After his meeting with Nilekani, Modi met Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in the North Block in an informal meeting on GST. He discussed with Mukherjee the modalities of compensating the different states for the losses that would be incurred on account of implementation of GST. Modi also got knowledge of the GST-related constitutional amendment Bill. The discussion entailed the status of revenue collection through VAT.