Expenditure of Rs 20 19 Cr remains unproductive due to switching over of GSTN: CAG

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Shimla, April 17, 2018: The Outlay of Rs 20.19 Cr by the State Excise and Taxation Department’s Project of
computerization remained unproductive after introduction of GST from July 1, 2017, Comptroller and Auditor
General report on Himachal Pradesh state revenue sector for the year 2016-17 indicates.

The report said that Excise and Taxation Department took up the computerisation of VAT and allied processess to improve the compliance of tax laws, automate the allied tax administration and interface with the TINXSYS in June 2010 involving financial outlay of Rs 20.19 crore.

The Department rolled out 23 modules including Web Portal between August 2011 and January 2015.

However, the usage of backend modules was low in view of the long pendency of VAT assessments and processes were still undertaken in manual form.

Besides, Go-Live, signing of SRS, URS, SDD, Legacy data conversion and Final Acceptance Test were also pending. In view of Department’s option to utilise ‘Implementation Model-2’ developed by GSTN on the introduction of GST from 1st July 2017, the expenditure of Rs 20.19 Cr on the setting up of the project remained unproductive failing to meet the project objectives.

During 2016-17, Auditors conducted test check of the records of 34 units relating to VAT, Sales tax
assessments Entertainment Tax, Multipurpose Barriers, Luxury Tax and other records revealed under-assessment of tax and other irregularities involving Rs. 63.48 crore in 290 cases.

During the year 2016-17, the Department accepted under-assessment and other deficiencies of Rs 1.42 Cr in 74 cases out of which an amount of Rs. 63.49 lakh was realised in 59 cases related to earlier years. Significant cases involving Rs 27.37 Cr was highlighted in the report.

To the CAG queries for under utilization of computerization project Department replied (October 2017) that application of back office was low due to old pendency of assessments. Further assessment work was slow due to shortage of staff.

The reply is not acceptable as Department did not take initiative to streamline the assessments so as to  achieve benefits of automation and most of the backend operations were still being undertaken manually.

Moreover, as these taxes are being subsumed in GST with effect from July 1st 2017, these modules have lost their relevance almost without being put to any use, report pointed out.

United News Of India

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