Army wants to be out of GST, sees it as jeopardising security

FPJ BureauUpdated: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 02:47 AM IST
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The army is not very comfortable revealing the deployment details or geographic location of its units required under the GST regime.

New Delhi : The Army wants to be out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the single national tax brought in from July on several grounds, including what it terms as security risks.

It has flagged the issue with the government, objecting in particular the requirement for registration of its units with GST every time it moves from one state to another since the new tax is “state specific” and till a fresh registration is obtained, no local purchases can be made.

Army sources say their units move frequently, at least once every two years and there have been instances when the movements take place every year. Some units are also deployed across the state borders for operational reasons, creating an accounting and administrative “nightmare” due to the GST requirement.

Besides, having to register afresh for the GST every time units move, the army’s concern is that the “geographic specific” GST registration gives out the deployment details of the individual units. “We are not very comfortable revealing the deployment details or geographic location of our units,” a senior army official said.

The army has approached the defence ministry to get either complete exemption for the army from paying GST or as an alternative give its tax processes to Principal Comptroller Defence Accounts (PCDA), which is tasked to audit and maintaining of accounts of the military, register itself under the GST and its registrations can be used by the units.

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