Amid the confusion over Goods and Services Tax, Maharashtra becomes the first state to offer a certificate course on the comprehensive indirect tax system. A five-day vocational course will kick off at around 10 institutes across the state Monday.
The GST Course is a tri-departmental initiative. The course will be run by the Maharashtra State Skill Development Society (MSSDS) and is certified by the state’s vocational education department. The state GST department, which is spearheading the course, will be the knowledge partner.
“The course has been designed by the GST department. The aim is to create assistants or skilled resources who can help chartered accountants and traders register and file returns,” said Maharashtra GST Commissioner Rajeev Jalota.
The course is designed as a practical-oriented one, with only 30 per cent weightage on theory, and is spread over 30 hours in five days. Students will be evaluated at the end of the course and awarded a certificate. “These students can then either join chartered accountants or start their own firms to help traders make the transition,” said Amit Saini, Joint Commissioner, Investigations, Sales Tax. “Going forward, we are hopeful that the course becomes an employment generator,” he added.
About 45 teachers from vocational training institutes in 36 districts were identified as trainers for the course. They were then brought to Mumbai and trained by officials from the GST department, which has also made its utilities such as softwares and forms available to the trainers and the students for practice.
One must at least have a BCom degree or should be in the final year of BCom to be eligible to enroll for the course. “We are also urging chartered accountants to encourage their apprentices and assistants to enroll for the course,” said Saini.
The course was born out of a need for skilled assistants to help CAs, traders and businessmen register to GST and file returns. “Traders have been telling us that they are having difficulty filing their returns as the process is difficult to understand and there isn’t any help available immediately at hand. Through this course, our aim is to bring up a breed of trained professionals who are proficient at the workings of the new tax,” said Jalota.