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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved a Rs 2,256 crore IT project 'Saksham' of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), designed to integrate CBEC systems with the GST.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved a Rs 2,256 crore IT project ‘Saksham’ of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), designed to integrate CBEC systems with the GST.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved a Rs 2,256 crore IT project ‘Saksham’ of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), designed to integrate CBEC systems with the GST.

The GST (Goods and Services Tax) is targeted for implementation from April 2017.

“Saksham will help in 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,” a government statement said.

The implementation strategy for a New Indirect Tax Network (Systems Integration) project would be to ensure readiness of the CBEC’s IT framework by April 1, 2017, when the GST is to be introduced, the statement read.

The total project cost involved is Rs 2,256 crore, to be incurred over seven years.

“All taxpayers/importers/exporters/dealers under various indirect tax laws administered by the CBEC — currently about 36 lakh — are likely to go up to over 65 lakh after introduction of GST,” it added.

The CBEC IT structure requires to integrate with the Goods & Services Tax Network (GSTN) for processing of registration, payment and returns data sent to the CBEC as well as act as a front end for other modules like audit, appeal and investigation.

While upgrade of the IT systems would be carried out keeping the existing taxpayer services running, there is no overlap in the GST-related systems of the CBEC and the GSTN, according to it.

“This IT infrastructure is also urgently required for the 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 the government initiatives such as e-Nivesh, e-Taal and e-Sign,” the statement added.

The first meeting of the Goods and Services Tax Council, held here last week, gave an indication that a host of issues remain to be resolved, even as its Chairman and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hoped all pending issues would be thrashed out in due course for a uniform pan-India indirect tax regime to take effect from the targeted April 1 next year.