Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Aug 25, 2004
Industry & Economy
Info-Tech - E-Governance
Kerala: Commercial tax dept to issue electronic ID cards
Mony K. Mathew
Thiruvananthapuram , Aug. 24
THE Commercial Taxes Department of Kerala is to issue electronic identity cards to all dealers registered under the KGST Act.
The project, designed to streamline tax administration, has been mooted by the Centre for Taxation Studies (CTS), an autonomous institution under the State Government. It will be implemented with the technical support of the Kerala State Electronic Development Corporation (Keltron). The system is expected to be in place from October 1.
According to officials in CTS, the identity of dealers is a serious problem being faced by the Commercial Taxes Department. The misuse of registration numbers by tax evaders and unscrupulous traders is a problem being faced by the dealers also. The situation is feared to get aggravated in the emerging value-added tax scenario.
All relevant information relating to registered shops or companies and details of their annual returns will be stored in the electronic identity cards. They can also be used to access the necessary database through the Internet.
The same information will be uploaded to a central ST server. This apart, new policies and tax details will be automatically posted to ST home Web site, which will enable the card users to post enquiries and complaints to the department.
The system involves issuing electronic identity cards to all registered dealers, installation of "card readers" in various sales tax offices, setting up of Web server for support services to the assesses and establishment of kiosks for filing returns.
The kiosks are proposed to be set up in all 14 district headquarters in the first phase and at taluk levels in the second phase.
Some of the benefits of the system are automated filing of returns, availability of online forms, prompt credit for tax payments, tracking of goods in transit and availability of updated tax policies, notifications and circulars.
The State Government has taken the first step to issue the cards to all registered dealers, the officials said.
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