GST tech backbone robust now, says GSTN boss Prakash Kumar

About 2.5 lakh migrated taxpayers haven’t filed any return while many are still showing different liability in GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B, says GSTN CEO Prakash Kumar.

Chandigarh: The Goods and Service Tax Network, or GSTN, accepts roughly 14.82 crore returns daily and processes 629 crore B2B invoices, according to Prakash Kumar, CEO of GSTN.

“GSTN is a non-profit private company, started by the government and private sector. Private players hold a 51% stake in the GSTN, while the government holds the rest,” Kumar said at the C4IO 2018 conference in Chandigarh today.

The goods and service tax was rolled out from July 2017. Keeping track of a comprehensive, multi-stage, destination-based tax requires a uniform interface for the taxpayer as well as a shared IT infrastructure between the Centre and States.

“Earlier, a company registered in all states would have to file 112 returns on 34 different portals and they had different teams to handle this,” Kumar pointed out. “When we started the company, we decided it would be completely electronic – no paper base. We also had to replace the 34 different portals,” he added.

The biggest challenge for the company was to get players to participate in bidding. “There was nearly $1 billion pending in projects. Payment used to come at the close of a project. We attracted players by going for a milestone-based trading product,” Kumar said. The end product is a system that can file invoices, returns, registrations as well as payments and refunds, he added.

However, this interface is not a “one size fits all” solution. “You need a specific filing for an automotive company, which is different from an FMCG company,” said Kumar.

He revealed that about 2.5 lakh migrated taxpayers haven’t filed any return while many are still showing different liability in GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B. The GSTR-1 filing is also behind GSTR-3B.

Maharashtra tops the list of states on total number of electronic way bills generated while Delhi ranks eighth. Gujarat tops in the number of inter-state e-way bills generated while Maharashtra tops the intra-state e-way bills.

This data can be used by companies to their advantage, Kumar pointed out. For instance, they can figure out what is consumed at a PIN code level. They can also improve their transport network by determining which area requires more vehicles.

“Today, trucking facilities are highly fragmented. They don’t know which businesses to reach out to and similarly the trader doesn’t know if the truck will be available tomorrow. Since 20 lakh e-way bills are generated, 20 lakh trucks are moving every day. So we can have an idea of which truck is going when and where,” Kumar said.


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