CIC Orders to Provide Relevant GST Rules/Notification already Available in Public Domain: Advises to Explore Wide Use of RTI to Help Layman [Read Order]

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In a significant ruling to help layman to understand the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Central Information Commission (CIC) has ordered the CPIO, GST Council, New Delhi to provide the information regarding the relevant GST Rules/Notification on the taxability of the amount received as incentive by Civil Government Contractor.

The Appellant, Mr. Anil Khanna filed an RTI application dated 27.03.2021 with CPIO, GST Council, New Delhi seeking the information regarding percentage on the amount received as incentive which needs to be payable to GST Department (Delhi) by him as a Civil Government Contractor.

The CPIO rejected the application by holding that if the Appellant has any grievance/doubt regarding this issue pertaining to incentive/consideration he may knock the doors of competent adjudicating authority of GST so constituted to deal with such issues. Upon Commission’s instance, he further clarified that under GST , there is no concept of an incentive rather a related term is in place i.e. ‘consideration’; and for which he agreed to provide a copy of the relevant extract of notification to the Appellant which may suffices the information sought for.

Information Commissioner Saroj Punhani held that “by taking a liberal view in the matter and also in furtherance of hearing proceedings the Commission hereby directs the CPIO to provide an extract of a copy of relevant rules/notifications pertaining to ‘consideration’ which will suffices the information sought by the Appellant regarding percentage on amount received as incentive which needs to be payable to GST Department (Delhi) by him towards GST Tax. The above said information should be provided by the CPIO free of cost to the Appellant within 15 days from the date of receipt of this order under due intimation to the Commission.”

“A pertinent issue emanating from the instant case and similar nature of cases dealt with by this bench in the recent past is that a number of RTI Applications are being filed for seeking clarifications on various policy/ procedure matters of Public Authorities with regards to the applicant’s grievances for any claim as per their Rules/Notifications/Orders. It will be in the best interest of Respondent Public Authority to explore the viability of introducing/updating a FAQs Section on their website wherein the most commonly sought issues/clarifications and/or respective orders/circulars/their jurisdictions and also their powers/roles can be easily identified and relevant information in that regard can be placed in the public domain in keeping with the letter and spirit of suo motu disclosures prescribed under Section 4 of the RTI Act. This will also relieve the public authority from the burden of RTI Applications which are filed for merely seeking clarifications and not any specific record,” the CIC said.

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Anil Khanna Vs CPIO,

Case Number:   CIC/DGSTCX/A/2021/129351

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