Coalition for the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal in India

The Coalition for the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal in India (‘GSTAT Coalition India’) has been convened to advocate for  the speedy constitution of and develop an inclusive and shared imagination of a modern digital Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (‘GSTAT’).

Background:

Since the introduction of the goods and services tax in India more than four years ago, we have seen a steady rise in litigation as taxpayers are often faced with ambiguous legal provisions. The situation has been exacerbated by the non-constitution of the GSTAT. In the absence of the GSTAT,  assesses have been constrained to approach the High Courts for relief, thereby adding to the latter’s workload. In September 2021, the Supreme Court directed the government to set up the GSTAT without further delay to avoid hardships caused to litigants and to curb the huge backlog of cases. 

The GSTAT presents a greenfield opportunity to build a completely online dispute resolution system that can significantly ease doing business and signal the Indian government’s intentions to solve tax disputes fast and economically without compromising revenue interest. A state-of-the-art dispute resolution institution backed by a constitutionally sound legal framework would require well-drafted rules and regulations to be put in place for its functioning. Building such an institution will require new skills and a long-term vision committed to change and transformation.

The GSTAT Coalition India has brought together  experts from various domains – lawyers, chartered accountants, economists, policy makers and administrators for the mission to spearhead this cause.

Activities undertaken

Coalition members:

 Dr. Ajit Ranade is a noted economist whose professional career spans over three decades covering a vast range of academic and corporate assignments.He was the Group Executive President..
 Dr. Ajit Ranade is a noted economist whose professional career spans over three decades covering a vast range of academic and corporate assignments. He was the Group Executive President and Chief Economist with the Aditya Birla Group before joining GIPE as the Vice Chancellor.
Mr. Najib Shah, an officer of the 1979 batch of Indian Customs & Central Excise service, is a former chairman of the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) having retired in March 2017..
Mr. Najib Shah, an officer of the 1979 batch of Indian Customs & Central Excise service, is a former chairman of the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) having retired in March 2017. As the Chairman of CBEC and as a special invitee to the GST council, he was involved with the process leading to the formulation of the GST Laws.
 Mr. Prakash Kumar, CEO at the Wadhwani Institute for Technology and Policy and a former officer of the Indian Administrative Service, has vast experience working with key ..
 Mr. Prakash Kumar, CEO at the Wadhwani Institute for Technology and Policy and a former officer of the Indian Administrative Service, has vast experience working with key government departments to transform their functioning by leveraging technology for the public good. He was formerly the Chief Executive Officer at the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), where he led the designing and setting up of the IT infrastructure for implementing GST at both the central and state government level.
 Mr. L Badri Narayanan is a practising lawyer and executive partner at the law firm, Lakshmikumaran and Sridharan Attorneys, where he also leads the Digital L&S initiative..
 Mr. L Badri Narayanan is a practising lawyer and executive partner at the law firm, Lakshmikumaran and Sridharan Attorneys, where he also leads the Digital L&S initiative. He has been advising several companies on a variety of issues having GST implications such as trade promotion schemes, royalties and license fee arrangements, contract manufacturing scenarios, software as a service offerings, outsourcing, consortiums and joint ventures, valuation, etc.
 Mr. Manish Mishra is a practising lawyer and partner at the law firm, Jyoti Sagar and Associates, Advocates and Solicitors where he heads the indirect tax practice. He has more than 23 years of experience..
 Mr. Manish Mishra is a practising lawyer and partner at the law firm, Jyoti Sagar and Associates, Advocates and Solicitors where he heads the indirect tax practice. He has more than 23 years of experience in indirect taxation across Industry, consulting and law firms. He is currently advising various clients on GST transition and regularly appears before various adjudicating and appellate forums for clients in GST and other tax-related litigation.
Mr. A. Jatin Christopher is a founding member and partner at JCSS, a Chartered Accountants firm based out of Bangalore. He is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and the..
Mr. A. Jatin Christopher is a founding member and partner at JCSS, a Chartered Accountants firm based out of Bangalore. He is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and the Institute of Cost Accountants of India. He specializes in GST issues, SPAs (Sale and Purchase Agreements) and PDAs (Product Distribution Agreements) of global entities. He has also served as faculty and senior resource member of the ICAI on indirect taxes and advised on clarifications on GST matters at various forums.

DAKSH, Bangalore

DAKSH is a civil society organization that undertakes research and activities to promote accountability and better governance in India. By studying institutions to understand their functioning and identifying areas for improvement, DAKSH has been working to create inclusive, transparent, self-correcting mechanisms that encourage accountability in all branches of the government. It has been working actively on tribunals reform in India through our research and collaborations. It has published a draft whitepaper on a Framework for the National Tribunals Commission (May 2021), written op-eds on restructuring tribunals  and a digital GSTAT (October 2021) and organized panel discussions on next generation tribunals in India (January 2022).

The DAKSH team is represented on this Coalition by:

Senior Advocate, High Court of Karnataka and co-Founder, DAKSH; Email: harish@dakshindia.org

Programme Director, DAKSH (Convener, GSTAT Coalition India); Email: surya@dakshindia.org

Senior Research Associate, DAKSH; Email: aakanksha@dakshindia.org

For more information about the Coalition and its work, please contact:

Mr. Surya Prakash B.S., Convener, Coalition for the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal and Programme Director, DAKSH, Bangalore at surya@dakshindia.org.

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