In just three years India has seen a four-fold jump in the number of states which are willing to shed their inhibition regarding GST bill. These states have also asked the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) to handle the complex back-end processing when the tax reform rolls out from April 1, 2017. According to the latest data by the government official, a total of 21 States is now relying on GSTN to manage task such as tax settlement, assessment, refunds, etc.
GSTN is a not-for-profit entity owned by the Centre, states, and non-government financial institutions. It is the institution which is going to build the technology backbone for a new tax regime. What comes as a surprise news is that when GSTN first came into the picture only six states were part of this portal. But in recent time more and more states are realizing that they can rely on the standard application that GSTN is building instead of opting to make one.
Which states have become part of this technology so far?
States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Odisha, had already been part of GSTN. But in recent time Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab who had earlier decided to build their systems have agreed to opt for GSTN technology now.
Bihar was one of the earliest ones to realize that it would be practical and advantageous to be part of the GSTN technology right from the beginning. They decided to not only build their technology but also did not want any anomalies to happen at the later stage. Furthermore, the Nitish Kumar run state believes that letting GSTN build the backend modules will drive synergies since there was no common platform earlier.
However, other states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, etc. already have advanced systems to build their tech backend. While Tamil Nadu has sought a solution from Tata Consultancy Services other states, have taken the help of National Informatics Centre (NIC).
How helpful will the GST portal be?
Experts believe that the reason behind state opting GSTN is that it helps them not to be worried about the task of building the complex technology. The states also get to focus their energy entirely on rolling out the new tax regime. The GSTN portal will become a one-stop portal for filing and processing for almost 65 to 70 lakh taxpayers in the country.
The portal which is worth Rs 1,380 crore is planned for February and will be mandated by second-largest software company Infosys.