Hours Before Launch, Here's What's Happening At The GST's Nerve Centre

Of the eight million existing tax payers, 6.6 million tax assesses have already enrolled for GST. And about 1.7 lakh new applications for GST have come in.

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Hours Before Launch, Here's What's Happening At The GST's Nerve Centre

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Professionals are putting in extra hours to ensure that the switch over to GST is a smooth affair.

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. IT, tax professionals trying to ensure switch over to GST is smooth
  2. Organisation building system that will allow tax payers to work offline
  3. Officials keep testing, retesting their programs and applications
The silence inside the headquarters of Goods and Services Tax Network or GSTN, housed on the fourth floor of an imposing glass building aptly named World Mark I right next to Delhi's international airport, is misleading.

Behind white and blue cubicles, professionals with expertise in IT and taxation are putting in extra hours to ensure that the switch over to GST is a smooth affair. 

The biggest task for GSTN - a not-for-profit company set up to manage and collect indirect taxes - is to help traders and businessmen migrate to the GST platform. 

Of the eight million existing tax payers, 6.6 million tax assesses have already enrolled for GST. And about 1.7 lakh new applications for GST have come in. 

Officials claim online registration can be done in less than 30 minutes. But what if someone doesn't have a computer? That's been a concern for many small businessmen.

"If you have a phone that can run WhatsApp then you can register using our app," says Pravin Kumar, who heads the section that helps people register onto the GST platform. 

Mr Kumar, a Bihar government tax official, has been on deputation for the past two years to help build the online tax filing system. But the organisation is also building a system that will allow tax payers to work offline.

"We have developed a tool where you can work offline and upload when there is connectivity. It will take seconds to upload your returns," says Ashutosh Rajan, an IT professional with GST Network. 

As the officials test and retest their programs and applications, our question "when was your last off day" made everyone burst out.

"We will have to check our records," said Gyanenda Prakash Dwivedi, a former banker who's "measuring end user results of the GST software."

His colleague aptly summed up the mood by saying, "This is our national service."

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