Today, the Finance Minister of India has introduced the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bills in Parliament, paving the way for the introduction of GST in India from 1 July 2017. In an effort to ensure the smooth implementation of GST, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) vide office order F. No 349/36/2017-GST dated 24 March 2017 has constituted ‘GST Working Groups’ to interact with select industry sectors to address their concerns relating to GST implementation issues. The Government has also designated officers who will address issues relating to the following identified sectors and submit their report by 10 April 2017:

SR NO.

SECTOR

GST WORKING GROUP

  1.  

Banking, Financial and Insurance

Shri Upender Gupta, Commissioner GST

         2. 

Telecommunication

Shri Amitabh Kumar, JS, TRU-II

         3.

Exports, including EOUs and SEZs

Dr. Tejpal Singh, ADG, DGEP Shri Manish Sinha, Commissioner, CX

         4. 

IT / ITES

Shri M. Vinod Kumar, Chief Commissioner

         5. 

Transport and Logistics (Road, rail, air, sea, pipelines, airport, sea port)

Shri J. M. Kennedy, ADG DGRI

         6. 

Textiles

Shri Yogendra Garg, Commissioner, CX

         7.

MSMEs, including job work

Shri Manish Sinha, Commissioner, CX

         8.

Oil & Gas (Upstream and Downstream)

Shri P. K. Jain, Chief Commissioner (AR)

         9.

Gems and Jewellery

Shri Reyaz Ahmad, Director TRU

        10.

Services received and provided by

Shri D. P. Nagendra Kumar, Pr. Commissioner

Based on the representations received by the Government, it has identified certain issues on which specific sectors have expressed concerns under the GST regime viz. the supply of services within establishments of an entity without invoices and payments, compliance challenges for small and medium scale enterprises, cascading due to exclusions of certain products and other issues such as existing abatements to the transport industry, supply to the Government, etc.

These GST Working Groups would also focus on procedural simplification and a possible rate structure and would submit their reports by 10 April 2017.

Khaitan Comment

The formulation of GST Working Groups is a significant step which indicates the firm commitment of the Government to iron out the specific issues which are of concern to the stakeholders. The initiative to provide an opportunity to industry to reach out to a designated person to address their concerns is highly commendable. This step has provided the much needed immediate opportunity to trade and industry to raise their concerns with the GST Working Groups. Certain implementation issues already referred to our firm are being sent to the respective working groups.