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FM virtually addresses Foundation Stone laying ceremony of GST Bhawan at Tirupati

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, NOV 17, 2023: UNION Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave a virtual address on the occasion of Bhoomi Pooja and Foundation Stone laying ceremony of GST Bhavan, Tirupati CGST Commissionerate, today. The new GST Bhawan reflects the Central Government's commitment to bolstering infrastructure and efficiency in tax administration.

Sanjay Malhotra, Secretary, Department of Revenue, also attended the event virtually. Sanjay Kumar Agarwal, Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC); Vivek Ranjan Zonal Member, CBIC; Sanjay Pant, Chief Commissioner CGST & Customs, Vishakhapatnam Zone; Shishir Bansal, ADG, CPWD Hyderabad Region, and other senior officers of the Department, State Government and Senior Management of Trade and Industries were also present.

In her address during the occasion, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated the CGST and Customs Vizag Zone for the Bhoomi Pooja and creation of infrastructure and encouraged the zone to continue the positive trends in revenue earning. The Union Finance Minister highlighted the need for facilitating taxpayers and announced that the approval for biometric-based Aadhar authentication through GST Seva Kendras has been given for the State of Andhra Pradesh. Tirupati Commissionerate has collected GST Revenue of Rs. 8,264 crore last year and Rs. 5,019 crore upto September 2023. The Commissionerate has seen much progress in the recent past few years posting an impressive growth of about 300% in the GST regime. The major contributor for this striking growth is from manufacture of passenger vehicles, cement, and automotive batteries.

Bhoomi Pooja and unveiling of plaque for the foundation stone was done by Chairman CBIC

During his virtual address, Malhotra, while appreciating the Bhoomi Pooja of the Tirupati Commissionerate and also acknowledging the various infrastructure-related projects being taken up by CBIC, said that revenue growth and law enforcement should work hand-in-hand and all the matters related to prosecution should be expedited and brought to logical conclusion in time. Malhotra also exhorted all the officers to continue to focus on grievance redressal mechanism for the taxpayers.

During his address on the occasion, Sanjay Kumar Agarwal appreciated the hard work being done by departmental officers and highlighted the efforts being undertaken by CBIC to create infrastructural assets for the benefit of officers. Complimenting the CBIC team in augmenting the revenue of the Government, Agarwal said that the buoyant GST and Customs revenues are testament to their commitment to curb evasion of taxes and plug leakages in revenue, especially by detecting fake ITC.

On infrastructure creation by CBIC, Agarwal said in the past five years, 54 proposals for construction of offices amounting to about Rs. 2,200 crore has been sanctioned and 9 proposals for construction or revamping of residential quarters amounting to Rs. 640 crore has been sanctioned. These are significant numbers and the CBIC is monitoring the projects closely for timely completion.

In his address, while emphasising on the need for a new GST Bhawan, Zonal Member Vivek Ranjan said revenue for CGST Tirupati Commissionerate has grown from the annualised figure of Rs. 2,815 crore for the FY 2017-18 to Rs. 8,275 crore during 2022-23 reflecting impressive increase of nearly 3 times and CAGR of 19.7%. Similarly, the taxpayer base has increased significantly from 22,400 (as on 31.10.2017) to 57,481 (as on 30.10.2023) during these six years registering an increase by 2.5 times or magnificent CAGR of 17%.

Ranjan said that Commissionerate's contribution to the Zonal revenue collection has increased from 26% to 36% during these six years. Similarly, the taxpayer base of Tirupati Commissionerate as a percentage of zonal base has increased from 29% to 33% during these six years.

Tirupati Central GST Commissionerate, covering Tirupati and its surrounding regions, plays a vital role in facilitating economic activities and ensuring compliance. The new office building will not only provide a state-of-the-art workspace for the dedicated officers but also enhance the overall taxpayer experience. The construction of the office building of Tirupati CGST Commissionerate at an estimated cost of Rs. 36.11 crore will be undertaken by CPWD and would be completed in 18 months. The building consisting of basement, ground plus five floors, after the completion of the construction will host Tirupati CGST Commissionerate Office, Tirupati CGST Divisional Office along with local ranges, Tirupati Audit Circle, Customs Preventive Division, and PAO Office along with the departmental officers Guest House.

Chief Commissioner Sanjay Pant also highlighted the revenue growth of the zone and its focus on infrastructure building.


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