Thursday, 29 September 2016

Project Saksham gets govt nod for easy GST roll-out

In a swift progress towards the goods and services (GST) tax roll-out from April 1, 2017, a Cabinet committee cleared the Rs 2,256 crore back-end information technology (IT) project for the indirect tax department on Wednesday. The new indirect tax network (systems integration) called Project Saksham will be developed with the help of Wipro.  "The implementation strategy for the project will
be to ensure the readiness of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) IT framework by April 1, 2017, when GST is to be introduced," an official statement read. Project Saksham, cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, will facilitate implementation of GST, extension of the Indian Customs single window interface for facilitating trade (SWIFT) and other taxpayer-friendly initiatives under Digital India and ease of doing business of CBEC.

GST will subsume excise, service tax and a clutch of other local levies.

"The total project cost involved is Rs 2,256 crore, which will be incurred over seven years," the statement said, adding the upgrade of the IT systems will be carried out, while keeping the existing taxpayer services running.

All taxpayers or traders and exporters under various indirect tax laws administered by CBEC - at present around 3.6 million - are likely to go up to over 6.5 million after introduction of GST," the statement added.

The GST Network (GSTN), a private body, is developing the front-end infra with the help of Infosys.

There is no overlap in the GST-related systems of CBEC and GSTN, the statement said. CBEC's IT structure needs to integrate with GSTN for processing of registration, payment and returns data sent to CBEC as well as act as a front-end for other modules like audit, appeal and investigation.

"This IT infrastructure is also urgently required for continuation of CBEC's e-services in Customs, central excise and service tax, implementation of taxpayer services such as scanned document upload facility, extension of Indian Customs SWIFT initiative and integration with government initiatives such as e-Nivesh, e-Taal and e-Sign," the statement added.

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