GST training: Govt faces steep climb as deadline nears

Business Standard By IANS October 2, 2016. 11:22 IST

CBEC officials have already been deputed to the GST Network, the IT backbone of the new indirect tax regime

Already running against time on GST, the revenue department will have a tough time in training 60,000 field officials for its implementation from April 1 as it has provided requisite skills to only 3,074 personnel.

The National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics (NACEN) has been tasked with the mammoth task of training officials of both the Centre and states. The target is to train 60,000 officers in the "next few months".

As per the latest data (up to September 23) of NACEN, 3,074 field officers have been trained as against the target of 60,000. The government intends to roll out the goods and services tax (GST) regime from April next year.

However, the target in the case of different types of 'trainers' has been achieved and in some cases, surpassed. These include training of officers from the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

"There are undoubtedly huge challenges before us as we go about learning the nuances and provisions of the new law. We need to recognise the changes taking place and reorganise our existing administrative set-up to meet the requirements of the new tax regime," said CBEC Chairman Najib Shah in a communication to officials.

CBEC officials have already been deputed to the GST Network, the IT backbone of the new indirect tax regime.

In fact, the board's name itself will undergo a change with the subsuming of the central excise and service tax.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while addressing a parliamentary consultative committee yesterday, said the government is working on a target date of April 1, 2017 for the rollout of GST.

He also said that so far the government is following the road map for implementation of GST as per the schedule.

Shah asserted that CBEC will have to provide a lead role in meeting implementation challenges, training officials, the trade and industry, holding workshops with all stakeholders and acquiring and imparting necessary IT skills.

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