NEW DELHI: Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani, brought in by the government to simplify the process of filing GST returns, made a long presentation at the meeting of the powerful Goods and Services Tax Council today. There has been no decision on the changes that will be made but Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the council had a clear sense of the direction that they will take.
- Nilekani has been brought in to simplify process of filing GST returns
- Nilekani returned last year to Infosys, which is implementing GST network
- GST council would take decision on simplifying returns soon: Jaitley
A final decision would be taken at the next meeting of the council that has finance ministers from all states, Mr Jaitley said. This meeting would be held via video conferencing.
Mr Nilekani returned last year to IT major Infosys, which is implementing the GST network. Mr Jaitley said at today's meeting the technology czar integrated two alternative proposals that another committee had suggested minutes earlier. That was the best possible option, he added.
"There was no decision but it is finally culminating in a direction," said Mr Jaitley. A complicated system of filing returns has been one of the recurring criticisms that the national tax reform has consistently faced ever since its launch last year.
The direction was that return filing under GST Return 3B will continue and the sellers and suppliers should load their invoices, after which details of supply made can be furnished. It is a given that the 3B return between buyer and supplier will reflect the supplies made. If there is any difference between the two, at a later stage they can be asked to explain, the finance minister said.
This isn't the first time that the government has drawn on Mr Nilekani's expertise.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had inducted the Infosys co-founder into the government with a cabinet minister-rank to build the Aadhaar identification system. The technocrat appeared to flirt with politics in 2014 when he contested the Lok Sabha elections on a Congress ticket from Bengaluru.
In November 2016, PM Modi's government also reached out to the tech tycoon to join a committee of chief ministers headed by Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu help map a path to digital payments.