It is indeed regretting that while Central Government has pushed all those registered under Goods and Service Tax (GST) to unbearable torture by imposing a very cumbersome and complicated GST-regime of four GST-returns per month and to pay heavily to GST-consultants, its own ministries are not yet registered under GST. It results in a net loss of 18-per cent to service-providers whose bills are now being paid by union ministries without taking into account GST levied in the bills.
Union Finance Ministry and Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) should immediately come with proper clarification if services availed by union ministries are exempted from GST, and that service-providers need not pay GST on services provided to such exempted ministries. Rather Union Finance Ministry and CBEC should issue a complete list of exempted ministries-departments-institutions etc for which service-providers need not levy GST in their invoices. Or else, all ministries, departments and institutions under central and state governments should be immediately directed to get themselves registered under GST with retrospective effect from July 1, 2017, and pay the GST amount on earlier paid bills where payment has already been made after deleting GST amounts from the bills.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)