JAMMU, Jan 30: Central Excise officers carried out a peaceful lunch hour demonstration and wore black bands at work throughout the day on Monday, as a mark of protest against the recent decisions of GST Council, which had in its January 16 meeting, agreed to give States the powers to levy tax on economic activity within 12 nautical miles of territorial waters and to administer 90 per cent of the tax payers under Rs 1.5 crore annual turnover, besides certain provisions of Integrated GST.
These officers of Central Excise Commissionerate, Jammu and Kashmir, represent the members of Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), All India Association of Central Excise Gazetted Executive Officers, All India Central Excise Inspectors’ Association and All India Central Excise and Service Tax Ministerial Officers Association.
The protesting officers demanded an urgent need for review of the GST Council decisions. The spate of decisions of the GST Council has triggered worries among the officers, who feel that the relevance of the Centre will diminish once the ambitious tax reforms measure is implemented, they feared and added that the basic structure of the scheme is being compromised and the same may lead to utmost chaos which may be detrimental not only to the revenue but also to the industry, trade and commerce in general.
“At the same time, it is felt that the recent decisions of the Council will not only weaken the Centre but also adversely affect the Indian economy and Revenue collection and further compromise the national security,” they said.
The officers also expressed concerns over their representation in the GST Council and Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN), the entity setup to handle IT Systems of GST. The officers asserted that this function should be handed over to CBEC, which has expertise to handle the mammoth data and maintain its secrecy.