CIC raps GSTN for lack of order, seeks clarity on info disclosure
Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), the IT backbone of the new tax regime, has attracted the ire of Central Information Commission (CIC), which has directed the company to set its house in order and update information in public domain.
CIC has taken a grim view of the functioning of GSTN, a company with 1,200 employees managing the entire network.Hearing an appeal filed by applicant R K Jain, who had sought information under the Right to Information Act (RTI) on GSTN’s HR policy and voluntary disclosure of information, Information Commissioner Bimal Julka said, “It is appalling to learn that an important, significant and critical area concerning the implementation of GST Network still required streamlining and consolidation, which needs to be attended to forthwith in the larger public interest”.
The commissioner’s observation follows facts that emerged during hearing of the case. Jain had put forward documents voluntarily disclosed by GSTN under the RTI Act.During the hearing, Jain contended that documents in the public domain revealed that GSTN had not finalised an HR policy, the detailed norms including delegation of powers for discharge of GSTN functions was under preparation, the rules/regulations and manual etc to be used by its employees for discharging their functions was also under preparation, the annual statement of accounts and balance sheet was available till the period 2013-14 only and that it was reflected that on completion of manual, rules and regulations, recruitment etc, an arrangement shall be put in place with the consultation of all the stake holders of the company including tax payers.
GSTN admitted that they were making best of their efforts to streamline their processes and procedures to put in place a robust, scientific and state of art network for the benefit ofthe users.
The Economic Times, New Delhi, 26th February 2018