Rs 2,256 crore project for GST integration approved

The government has approved Rs 2,256 crore outlay for Project Saksham to bolster the information technology network for the new GST regime, Parliament was informed on Friday.

Project Saksham is the name given to CBEC’s IT Infrastructure Project, while enable not just the implementation of Goods and Services tax (GST) but also support all existing services in Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax.

“The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) IT systems need to integrate with the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) for processing of registration, payment and returns data sent by GSTN systems to CBEC, as well as act as a front-end for other modules like audit, appeal and investigation,” Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

Project Saksham will also enable extension of the Indian Customs Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade (SWIFT) and other taxpayer-friendly initiatives under Digital India and ease of doing business of CBEC.

The information filed by taxpayers (for eg. registration, returns etc) on the GSTN portal will be transferred to CBEC systems via a link established by GSTN from their data centres to CBEC data centres. This information will be subsequently processed by CBEC’s officers and the action taken will be transferred back to GSTN portal over this network.

Thus, Project Saksham will enable setting up of an information exchange mechanism with GSTN through the use of pre-agreed Application Programming Interface (API) or other secure methods of message exchange.

“There is no overlap in the functions to be performed by the systems of CBEC and GSTN. CBEC’s systems will be required to process data pertaining to registration, returns and payment modules which will be transmitted by GSTN to CBEC for backend processing,” said Gangwar.

For other modules related to statutory tax functions such as audit and investigation, CBEC systems would provide front end interface to tax payers, he added.