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GST decisions under states’ pressure, reverse them: IRS officers’ body

Some of the recent decisions taken by GST Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, were taken under pressure from the states, a body representing thousands of tax officials said on Monday. The association said its members as well as those from other staff bodies wore black band on their arm at work to protest the decisions taken by the Council.

The employees associations, representing about 70,000 officers and employees of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), called the protest successful. “There was very good response from all the staff across the country. They wore black band while at work to protest some of the decisions by the GST Council,” said Anup Srivastava, President of Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) officers association.

He said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is widely seen as the programme of the central government as officers of the CBEC have done all the ground work for its implementation.

“However, the decisions taken by the GST Council on January 16 have severely curtailed the role of the central government in GST implementation.

“Around 80 per cent of the taxpayers will have no interface with the central government as per these decisions and that will severely limit the capacity of the Centre to make any impact in smooth roll out of GST in the country,” Srivastava said.

The Council had in its recent meeting agreed to give states the powers to levy tax on economic activity within 12 nautical miles of territorial waters and to administer 90 per cent of the tax payers under Rs 1.5 crore annual turnover besides certain provisions of Integrated GST.

Srivastava said that the association feels that the decisions taken by the GST Council on January 16 were under the pressure from the states that will not only weaken the sovereignty of the Centre but also adversely affect the Indian economy and revenue collection.

The association requests authorities concerned to take immediate necessary action and to defer the unjustified decisions of GST Council, taken under pressure of State VAT officials.

Joint Action Committee of associations of Group A, B & C staff of CBEC had given today’s call in national interest to make their concerns heard by the decision makers.

“In case our demands are not met we will pursue other Gandhian means of protest,” the officer said.

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