FM Sitharaman urges top GST officials to leverage technology for plugging loopholes in system

New Delhi, Mar 4 (IANS): Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday exhorted the enforcement chiefs of the state and the Central GST formations to leverage technology for plugging loopholes in the system, as well for providing better taxpayer services.

Highlighting the importance of innovation, she advised them to share emerging best practices, emphasising the need for seamless coordination across States in the larger national interest.

After inaugurating the first-ever National Conference of Enforcement Chiefs of the State and the Central GST Formations, she urged the top officials to engage with the stakeholders to understand their concerns, enhance compliance, streamline processes, and work collaboratively towards making the tax system more transparent and efficient.

The Finance Minister commended the untiring efforts of both the Centre and states' GST formations since 2017 in making the GST a reliable, goal-oriented and capable system by leveraging technology.

FM Sitharaman stressed on the significance of holding such meetings regularly among enforcement chiefs of centre and the states, and to leverage this platform for discussing obstacles, exchanging successful strategies, and collectively advance towards a more robust and harmonious tax infrastructure.

The Finance Minister also stressed that clarity on classification related issues should be looked into at the earliest through appropriate channels.

She said that the past 10 years under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi have shown that systems can be cleansed and made more effective through persistent efforts.

Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra emphasised the crucial role of enforcement in ensuring the success of the GST system.

Malhotra outlined the key priorities - targeting high-risk areas, combating tax evaders, balancing enforcement with taxpayer rights, strengthening collaboration between central and state authorities, and gathering feedback for improvement in policy and technological intervention.

Setting the context of the one-day conference, Sanjay Kumar Agarwal, CBIC Chairman, said that fake entities and GST evasion not only erode our national revenue but also distort fair competition and fuel an underground economy.

He highlighted the importance of strong data analytics and use of technology and the need to stay ahead of the perpetrators of GST evasion. He reminded the officers to follow the instructions issued by CBIC in respect of procedure to be followed during enforcement action

During the conference, various presentations were also made by the GST formations. As per the data presented by the GST Council Secretariat, the nationwide crackdown on fake registrations and bogus billing from May 2023 alone has resulted in detection of ITC tax evasion of Rs. 49,623 crore involving 31,512 bogus firms.

Based on the positive feedback, the conference established the need for regular experience sharing.

It was also decided to conduct the National Conference of Enforcement Chiefs of State and Central GST Formations bi-annually moving forward, an official statement said.



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Title: FM Sitharaman urges top GST officials to leverage technology for plugging loopholes in system

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