New Delhi: In a major initiative aimed at improving the ease of doing business and widening the commercial taxes net, the Government of Bihar has rolled out an information management system for value added tax (VAT) in the state.
The Value Added Tax Management Information System (VAT-MIS) being implemented by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has also integrated the investigation and enforcement functions of the state Commercial Taxes Department (CTD).
"This will not only help the department put a check on tax evasion and increase compliance by companies in the state, the solution will also make the entire commercial taxes mechanism more transparent and efficient," state Information Technology Secretary Alok V Chaturvedi said.
He further informed that the VAT-MIS application has been fully integrated with the newly launched CTD website to enable online registration and filing of returns for VAT and Central Sales Tax (SCT) by the business community across the state.
The rollout plan includes the e-payment facility that has been implemented using the State Bank of India (SBI) payment gateway on a pilot basis for the state capital Patna.
"Presently, only dealers at Patna having SBI account with electronic banking facility can make payment for VAT and CST," Chaturvedi said, adding that the e-service would be soon extended to rest of the state.
According to TCS Government Industry Solutions Unit Global Head (Pre-sales) R Srinivasan, while the state government has already rolled out e-services for VAT and CST through the CTD website, the same for other taxes-Entry Tax, Luxury Tax, Advertisement Tax, Entertainment Tax and Electricity Duty-would also be integrated into the system.
The Rs 30-crore project will also link up all 50 VAT offices in the state. According to Srinivasan, while the first phase (seven locations) and the second phase (15 locations) have been completed, work is in progress to link up the remaining 28 centres.
The VAT-MIS has been rolled out using BSNL connectivity for CTD offices, while the Commercial Tax Department portal has been hosted on Internet and is available throughout.
Talking about the initiative by the Bihar Government TCS Vice President and Global Government Industry Group Head Tanmoy Chakrabarty said that the state is an excellent example of a holistic, outcome based information technology deployment by the company.
"With the holistic deployment of an array of solutions ranging from treasury automation, workflow automation, taxation, to citizen service delivery portal and the deployment of a State Wide Area Network (Swan), Bihar is poised to rapidly move up in terms of e-Governance readiness among Indian states," he added.