Five IT majors bid for building GST network

Five top information technology companies, including Microsoft, TCS, Infosys, Wipro and Tech Mahindra have bid for building the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) and the portal for the roll out of the system, even as reports pointed to the possibility of the GST bill getting Parliamentary approval soon.

The building the GST Network across the country and the setting up of a portal are central to the smooth roll out of the new indirect tax regime.

The central government had targeted implementation of the single-rate GST, which would subsume central excise, service tax and other local levies, from 1 April 2016.

"We have received five bids for building the GSTN system...We will finalise (the bidder) by the end of next month," GST Network chairman Navin Kumar said at an interactive session organised by FICCI.

Kumar, however, refused to reveal the names of the bidders, but said the contract would be awarded next month.         

Goods and Services Tax Network is a non-profit organisation registered as a private company and mandated to provide shared IT infrastructure and services to the centre, the state governments and taxpayers for implementation of GST.

Kumar said GST implementation needs a strong IT infra and services backbone that can capture, process and exchange information for and among the stakeholders (the centre, states, the RBI and tax-payers).

GSTN would help in Permanent Account Number-based registration of traders, besides filing of tax returns and facilitate payment. Kumar said GSTN would, by January-end next year, put in place the system for registration of dealers.

All existing VAT / service tax / central excise dealer data will be migrated to the GST system. Each dealer will get a unique ID (GSTIN).

In the subsequent months, the enabling system for payment of taxes and electronic filing of returns will be introduced, Kumar said.

The centre and the states have agreed to equally share the cost incurred by GSTN. A sub-committee would decide on the sharing of the costs by the states.

Kumar said 13 states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Odisha and the five North-East states, have sought GSTN's help in building the IT backbone. ''The other states have decided to do this on their own,'' Kumar added.

Currently, a central GST law and a model legislation for states is being drafted to fix GST levy on intra-state supplies and levy of GST on imports.

The GST Council would be constituted after the enactment of the Constitution Amendment Bill which is currently with the select committee of the Rajya Sabha.

He said the reports of various committees/sub-committees on place of supply rules, IGST model and business processes relating to registration, refunds, returns & payments were awaiting approval.