SSC CGL exam is taken by Lakhs of students in India for entry level jobs in Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) offices. Once the provisions of Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill which has now become an act come into effect, by April 2017, CBEC would get a new name which is the Central Board of Indirect Tax (CBIT).
GST and the associated administrative overhaul
GST, which has been in the pipeline for long, was also been seen as a pipe-dream owing to it being saddled with impediments set by the opposition. The standoff between the opposition and the Government benches delayed the implementation of the bill, which was to have come into force by April, 2016.
Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) being renamed to Central Board of Indirect Tax (CBIT) is being done as the organizational structure of GST Administration is being worked out. Officers and bureaucrats from Department of Revenue will be deployed in the administrative structure of CBIT. Officers from the lower ranks to the ones at the Secretary level will form part of the GST organizational structure. Directorate General of Indirect Tax Intelligence will come to be known as Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI).
Goods & Services Tax: The background and the details
Above changes viz. repositioning, modification and streamlining of the administrative structure of the current CBEC dispensation is meant to make way for the administrative platform that is efficient and can effectively roll out the impending Goods and Services Tax which is currently in the process of delineating the procedural norms for setting the threshold and implementation of Goods & Services Tax. Constitutional Amendment Bill for GST was passed by both the houses of the parliament early last month. This Bill then had to be ratified by atleast 50% of the legislative assemblies. Once this was done in 17 states, President gave his assent to the Bill and it has now become an act. The Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence would also henceforth be renamed to DGITI (Directorate General of Indirect Tax Intelligence).
As the constitutional amendment hurdle has been crossed, it is the implementation that is at the centrestage. Now, the details of the organizational structure are being worked out. GST Council, constituted by the Finance Minister of the Union of India and the finance minister of states is to decide on the exact percentage of tax to be levied. Also, what is to be ironed out is the details of the exemptions, role in implementation of officers at different levels of hierarchy. Infrastructure is required to make such a large scale change to the mode and manner of tax collection. Central Sales Tax, Value Added Tax, Octroi and the Service Tax will not be levied separately but a single tax, named GST, would replace these.
GST would be capped at 18 percent as per speculation but it is the GST Council that has to take a call on the details. As the details of how states are to be compensated and the quantum of compensation have been worked out, state Governments have come on board to allow for ease of implementation and decision making.
This is thus an important bit of news for those appearing for SSC CGL exams. Whether this creates more opportunities in the form of a greater number of openings or is only a change in the name of the department with superficial changes to segregate the staff in order to focus on implementation of legislation related to Goods and Services Tax. Issues related to Central GST and Integrated GST are being dealt with separately and staff from the department of revenue will be a part of the organizational structure being planned.