CBIC on monday i.e. 15.06.2020 launched its E-office application in over 500 CGST and custom offices. However do remember that this application is for internal office management and this won’t directly affect the taxpayers, although it is expected that this will increase the speed and efficiency of work and hence indirectly affect the taxpayers.
Over 50,000 officers and staff will use this application making CBIC one of the largest Government departments to automate its internal office procedures.
The launch of e-Office marks a fundamental change in internal office procedures which is so far based on manual handling of files and paper movement. The CBIC expects e-Office would complement its many other IT led reforms which are directly aimed at enhancing the ease of doing business for the trade and industry.
The launch of e-Office is one more measure taken by the CBIC in leveraging technology for providing a ‘Faceless, Contactless and Paperless’ indirect Tax administration.
The e-Office application is developed by the NIC and is supported by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG). E-Office aims to improve governance by automating the internal processes of handling files and taking decisions within Government. The e-Office application’s main module, eFile, enables on-line file related work, starting from receiving and marking dak, operating a file, preparing a draft letter, its approval/signature and dispatch of the signed letter.
The use of e-Office by the rank and file of the CGST and Customs officers in their day to day work would lead to speedier decision making, transparency, accountability, and positive impact on the environment by cutting down the use of paper and printing. Of particular relevance in the present-day challenging situation arising due to COVID-19 is that e-Office would help avoid contact with physical files thereby preventing possible transmission of any virus. Also, e-Office ensures enhanced security as no file or document can be altered or destroyed or backdated. An in-built monitoring mechanism would identify where the files are held up enabling quick disposal and faster decision making.
The e-Office is a Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the National e-Governance of India.
As we know government is taking constant steps to reduce physical interaction by introducing faceless assessment in customs and now this. On one hand it will reduce the spread of virus, smoothen the working and also would reduce passing back dated by officers. Hence it’s a great step forward and taking good use of technology by CBIC.
Also it is worthwhile to mention that in the press release it has been mentioned that it would cover CGST offices and hence it would be used by the SGST offices, atleast as of now and therefore they would still using physical files.
Let’s hope this application works properly and it’s not like the GST website.
You can read the full Press release HERE.
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