The finance ministry has instructed that grievance redressal committees on the goods and services tax (GST) be established at state and zonal levels.
Comprising officials, consultants and trade bodies, these panels are to take the feedback and send on suggestions to the GST Council and the information technology (IT) backbone for the system, the GST Network (GSTN). These include policy changes, say the directions.
The proposal in this regard was approved last week by the GST Council. Each committee will be co-chaired by the chief commissioner of central tax and the zonal or state chief. Each will have up to 12 members from trade bodies. Besides, it will have up to four members from chartered accountants, tax consultants and practitioners, according to the ministry.
Committees are to ‘examine and resolve’ all grievances, including procedural difficulties and IT-related issues. They may refer any issue requiring a change in the GST Acts, rules, notifications, forms or circulars to the GST Council Secretariat and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC). And, any IT-related issue to GSTN.
The policy wing of the CBIC will examine any such referral and decide if this should be sent to the GST Council. GSTN will develop a portal to record such grievances, including their scanned images, for time-bound handling. The co-chairs are to ensure timely entry and updating of the status of disposal on the portal. Details of action taken will be displayed on the portal.
The committees will be set up in each state wherever there is more than one state in a zone. Similarly, in each zone wherever there are more than one in each state. A panel will be constituted for two years. Any member absent from three meetings in a row without giving a reason will be deemed to have resigned.