Kerala: Residential training for GST officials raises eyebrows

The government order sanctioning Rs 46.65 lakh for the training programme was issued on Saturday.
Image used for representational purpose only.
Image used for representational purpose only.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Around 160 officials in the Enforcement Wing of the state Goods and Service Tax (GST) department will be undergoing a six-day residential training programme at Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology, Kakkanad, beginning Monday.

While the programme has raised concerns over tax evasion going unchecked during the six-day period, the GST department clari-fied that alternative arr-angements have been put in place.

The government order sanctioning Rs 46.65 lakh for the training programme was issued on Saturday. As per the order, of the Rs 46.65 lakh sanctioned, Rs 38.10 lakh will be spend for training, accommodation and infrastructure.

The Commissioner of state Tax has been directed to submit a proposal for fixing honorarium rates for expert faculty in line with the Government of India rates, for the training programme.

According to a senior official of the state GST department, officials of the Intelligence wing will step in and carry out duties of the Enforcement wing during the training period.

“Officers in the Intelligence wing have been assigned the additional duty for the six-day period and concerns that tax evaders would have a field day are unfounded,” the official said.

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