IEP Chandigarh, November 8
Punjab Finance, Planning, Excise and Taxation Minister Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema on Tuesday said that the Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann led Punjab Government has established a new Tax Intelligence Unit (TIU) in the State GST Commissionerate to monitor GSTN platform for better analysis of the digital data available over it.
Revealing this here, the Finance Minister said that the state government has decided to establish TIU as all services and returns of registered taxpayers are available on GSTN platform in digital mode and it is creating a lot of data. He said that this Tax Intelligence Unit (TIU) will work directly under the control of the Taxation Commissioner, and Additional Commissioner (Enforcement) and Director (Investigation) will control it for day-to-day functioning.
“One Assistant Commissioner State Taxes, Three State Taxation Officers, and Six Taxation Inspectors will work full time in TIU”, said Cheema while adding that special Data Analysts, Legal experts, Cyber experts, and System managers were being recruited to make TIU professionally competent.
Cheema further said that a state-level facility with all new technologies and data analysis mechanisms would be set up at the Taxation Office, Patiala. “It will be equipped with the latest hardware, software, and artificial intelligence tools for analysis of data being generated by GST Portal, E-way bill portal, and Toll data of NHAI. The major emphasis will be on identifying and taking strictest action on habitual tax evaders, persons involved in fake billing business, accumulation of bogus Input Tax Credit, etc.”, said Cheema.
Disclosing the future plans and actions to improve the state revenues, Cheema said that the state government has been working on the department’s proposal to convert all Mobile Wings of State GST into State Prevention & Intelligence Units (SIPU). “These SIPUs will be having 9 different field units in various parts of the state and on Central Unit at Taxation Office, Patiala”, said Cheema while adding that these Units would especially work in coordination with TIU to undertake precise action by way of inspections, searches & seizures against big tax evaders.
The Finance Minister said that the Punjab Government had also decided to use the services of GST Prime, the latest data analysis tool created by NIC. He said that GST Prime would help in the creation of specific data analysis reports on various parameters, and the strictest action would be initiated as per these reports. He said that the Department has also undertaken a lot of activities to guide and facilitate genuine taxpayers so that they can do their business in a better way.
Reiterating Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann led the Punjab Government’s commitment to improving the fiscal health of the state, Cheema said that the state government has received more than Rs. 250 crores through enforcement actions by way of inspections & checking of vehicles; using data mining for recovery of pending dues from tax evaders and conducting an audit of selected high-volume taxpayers, whereas, during the regime of the previous government the department had received only 600 crores in last two years. He said that it was very unfortunate that the previous government did not pay any attention to improving state finances and remained dependent only on the GST compensation being provided by the Centre Government.