Superintendents won’t be part of GST day celebrations, demand improvements first

As the country marks the fifth anniversary of Goods and Services Tax (GST), the All India Association of Superintendents of Central Tax (AIASCT) has given a call for all superintendents to keep away from the celebrations citing “injustice” meted out to them.

The Superintendents are the main field officers in the central tax system.

The association has written to the union revenue secretary expressing its concerns and conveying that they won’t be taking part in July 1 GST celebrations. The day is celebrated every year to mark the implementation of historic tax structure, introduced from July 1, 2017 with the idea of “one nation one market one tax”.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the association said it intends to draw attention to the way in which the Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC) has been functioning wherein the working conditions are adversely affecting the long-term effective implementation of GST.

Some of the concerns raised by the superintendents’ association pertain to – the Central GST Organisation not being placed on a comparable footing with that of the GST organisations of the state and union territories in matters of infrastructure, duties and responsibilities and pay scales of identical and comparable cadres, to enable it to work to its full potential; cadre of GST not assigned proper duties and responsibilities to justify the numbers and equitable distribution of work and backend provided for the officers being “very poor” due to which officers as well as taxpayers both suffer.

The association has further pointed out that “the computerisation is a great failure in as much as even now, the field formations are being forced to submit report after report to each and every higher formation, in different formats, as and when called for,” the statement read.

It said most of the GST work and responsibility is being burdened on the Superintendents, without any assistance.

The CBIC has failed to fill up the existing vacancies of more than 2000 AC (assistant commissioner) posts all over India and has not issued even the All-India Seniority list of Superintendents way back from January 2007, which could have enabled promotion to these vacant posts.

“This Association feels that the CBIC is doing great injustice to the GST administration of the country which will have a very adverse effect in the long run. Already many officers in the field have started to quit by taking VRS (voluntary retirement from service). The frustration is increasing every day in the department due to the above squalid conditions,” it said.

“If the CBIC is not going to take the concerns of our cadre seriously and address them, the Association will be compelled to decide on methods to protect the interest of its members by asking them to keep away from any unspecified duties in future,” it added.

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