29 September 2016 Current Affairs: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved ‘Project SAKSHAM’ n 28 September 2016. It is a New Indirect Tax Network (Systems Integration) of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).
It will help in integrating system of Central Board of Excise and Customs with the GST network before the roll out in April 2017. The total project cost involved is 2256 crore rupees which will be incurred over a period of seven years.
SAKSHAM : Implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Extension of the Indian Customs Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade (SWIFT)
Other taxpayer-friendly initiatives under Digital India and Ease of Doing Business of Central Board of Excise and Customs
The implementation strategy for the project will be to ensure readiness of CBEC's IT systems by 1 April 2017, when GST is to be introduced. The upgrade of the IT systems will be carried out while keeping the existing Tax-payer services running.
As predicted, all taxpayers/importers/exporters/dealers under various indirect tax laws administered by CBEC, presently about 36 lakhs, are likely to go up to over 65 lakhs after introduction of GST.
CBEC's IT systems need to integrate with the Goods & 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, Investigation. There is no overlap in the GST-related systems of CBEC and GSTN.
This IT infrastructure is also urgently required for continuation of CBEC's e-Services in Customs, Central Excise & Service Tax, implementation of tax¬payer services such as scanned document upload facility, extension of Indian Customs Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade (SWIFT) initiative and integration with Government initiatives such as E-Nivesh, E-Taal, e-Sign.