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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’).
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.
Ms. Charanya is a practising lawyer and partner at the law firm, Lakshmikumaran and Sridharan Attorneys, where she appears regularly before the Supreme Court, High Courts, and tribunals.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.