The government on Wednesday selected Navin Kumar, former chief secretary of Bihar, as the Chairman of GSTN — a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for providing common information technology infrastructure to the Centre and the states in the proposed Goods & Services Tax (GST) regime.
The selection committee, headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, chose Kumar from a list of six people, including three more Indian Administrative Services officers and two Indian Revenue Service officers.
The committee also comprised Unique Identification Authority Chairman Nandan Nilekani and Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers Chairman Sushil Modi.
Kumar, a 1975 batch IAS officer, may be appointed for a period of three years or till attaining 65 years of age, whichever is earlier. Others in the race were P K Basu, a 1976 batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre, M M Srivastava, a 1978 batch officer of Gujarat cadre, K Jose Cyriac, a 1977 batch officer of Kerala, and former Central Board of Excise & Customs members J K Batra and Y G Parande.
“Setting up GSTN will give a big boost to implementation of GST. It will work as an interface for Value Added Tax also,” Modi told Business Standard.
In Budget 2012-13, then finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee had said GSTN would be set up by August 2012. However, the deadline was missed and the government has not set a fresh date for its rollout.
The SPV would be incorporated as a not-for-profit company in which the government will retain strategic control. It would have an equity capital of Rs 10 crore. Both, the Centre and the states will have a stake of 24.5 per cent each in the SPV, while NSDL will have up to 21 per cent. Three financial institutions will get a stake of 10 per cent each. It will have a self-sustaining revenue model based on levy of user charges on tax payers and tax authorities availing its services.
GSTN is expected to help improve interface among tax payers, tax administrators and banks. Pilot projects are going on in 11 states with NSDL as the technology partner. Representatives of various tax authorities, test users from the banking industry and trade diasporas are involved in an objective testing phase. Prototypes of probable models of key business processes namely registration, return filing and payment of taxes are developed.