ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Difficulty of Goods and Services Tax

Is the central government circumventing structural crisis of GST in the name of compliance?

 

Over the past three months, the central government has compulsorily retired some 37 officials in the ranks of commissioners and superintendents from the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) over corruption and related charges. With three-fifths of these cases of sacking being executed against the backdrop of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) pessimistic audit report regarding the performance of the goods and services tax (GST) regime over the two years since 2017–18, is this initiative of “cleansing bureaucracy” a strategy of killing two birds with one stone?

The central government’s crackdown on corrupt and incompetent government employees—through the application of Fundamental Rules 56(j), Rule 48 of Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972 or Rule 16(3) (Amended) of All India Services (Death-cum-Retirement Benefits) [AIS (DCRB)] Rules, 1958—is in itself an appreciative gesture towards restoringefficiency in the administrative systems. And in the case of the tax system, this is a move to remove those whom Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day address had identified as the “black sheep in the tax administration (who) may have misused their powers and harassed taxpayers, either by targeting honest assessees or by taking excessive action for minor or procedural violations.” However, in this exuberance of cracking down on the housebreakers, is the government overlooking the systemic faults in the house itself, and consequently, wasting the opportunity of mitigating its proneness to such pilferages?

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Updated On : 11th Sep, 2019
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