I recently received a communication from a reputed association from New Delhi that the Hon’ble Union Finance Minister discussed in a meeting with Stake Holders at Delhi on problems in implementation of GST and most of the stake holders expressed their dissatisfaction about implementation of GST and solvation of difficulties faced by the stake holders at root level in implementation of GST in India. Based on that suggestion FM decided to constitute Grievance Redressalat State / Zonal level to know and solve the difficulties by the stake holders from time to time for smooth implementation of Indirect Tax system in India. I say thanks to the Hon’ble Union Finance Minister at last she concentrated on problems faced by the stake holders at Root Level.

2. Meaning of Grievance Redressal: The meaning of”Grievance Redressal” primarily covers the receipt and processing of complaints from the stake holders, it includes action taken on any issue raised by them to avail services more effectively. It is a management and governance related process used commonly in our Country.

Tile letter on red rack in word GST (Abbreviation of Goods and Service Tax) on wood background

3. Grievance Redressal mechanism in Government departments that are directly involved with serving citizens and organizations. Generally Public Relations Officer is designated with the role of receiving complaints and initiating corrective action, but in our Country this mechanism often fails on account of lack of authority vested in the PRO over officers of various capacities.

4. Now the Government of India has made efforts to systematize the nature of grievance redressal through legislation. Recently CBIC has issued notification No. 20/10/16/2018-GST (P1.1) dated 24th December, 2019 to Constitute of Grievance Redressal Committees at Zonal/State Level for redressal of Grievance of taxpayers on GST related Issues as per decision taken in GST Council Meeting dated. 12.2019. It’s really a good step to know difficulties faced by the stake holders at root level and solve such difficulties for better implementation of GST in India.

5. Grievance Redressal typically covers the following types of complaints from the stake holders:

(i) Service Unavailability,

(ii) Non-Delivery against Commitment,

(iii) Injustice concern,

(iv) Staff misbehavior,

(v) False claims of ITC etc.,

(vi) Citizen Vigilance reports

6. Generally Grievance Redressal is working as below at State Level: Government Departments define their own process flows for grievances redressal. These are rarely made known to the stake holders in case of Government usually share voluntarily or by mandate the hierarchy of officers responsible for taking corrective It is depending on the desire to correct as well as level of transparency of the Government.

7. Grievance redressal flow can include the following steps.

(i) Input acceptance: Stakeholders convey their grievance to the Concerned Government through letters, registered communications and e mails etc., These inputs may be submitted by mail over internet or in person.

(ii) Acknowledgment & Status Tracking: Stake holders tend to develop much greater confidence and feedback mechanism if they are given a formal The acknowledgment could be by SMS and Email. Simply by publicly posting their message on the appropriate forum. Such form responds with acknowledgments with unique tracking numbers. These may be used by stakeholders to check the status of action taken on their compliant.

(iii) Forwarding : Paper based feed back as well as standard feedback forms on websites usually forward inputs to a single officer or email address. This naturally causes scope for delay or failure to reach the right persons. However, smarter ticketing systems sort grievances based on their classification and then redirect each to their relevant executives for taking necessary action.

(iv) Action: Computerized and web-based systems have an advantage over paper-based systems as they can alert the report immediately upon the completion of action as marked by the executive in charge.

(v) Verification: Stakeholder may certify, if applicable and ask whether the Correct action taken on their grievance satisfies them or is not substantial enough. Should it not be. The complaint may be marked as pending again, or be forwarded to a more senior officer in escalated form.

(vi) Measurements: The effectiveness of implementation of a grievance redressal mechanism can be calculated with the following parameters:

i. Count of cases received,

ii. Natural of cases received,

iii. Acceptance of anonymous feedback,

iv. Ration of false inputs,

v. Time taken for corrective action,

vi. Escalation required,

vii. Confirmations & rejections after completion,

viii. Repeat nature of grievances.

(vii). Challenges: Traditional Grievances Redressal mechanisms tend to fail or are very ineffective, on account of some of these causes:

i. Unavailability or Difficulty to access means to report grievanes, at times done so purposefully, or due to lack of priority,

ii. Lack of authority of Public Relation Officer over relevant departments and executives in Government departments,

iii. Disconnect of senior decision-maker executives with end customers,

iv. Non-motivation of front-end managers to forward negative feedback to higher officials.

v. Fear of citizens/stack holders to report malpractice about businessmen or officers with substantial authority.

vi. Inaccuracy and spamming of feedback forms, driving false impressions,

vii. Delayed feedback acceptance, as feedback is taken after service has been provided, while corrective action may be taken typically during the delivery of service.

viii. Websites of Government departments generally carry the grievance page which lists the email and phone numbers to use to submit any concerns many websites also provide a form to fill that, automatically it will be sent by email with confirmation to the reporter.

The Government of India introduced a Bill namely”THE RIGHT OF CITIZEN FOR TIME BOND DELIVERY OF GOODS AND SERVICES AND REDRESSAL OF THEIR GRIEVANCES BILL,2011.

Dear colleagues I have prepared the above article based on some of the inputs collected from own source and analyzed as per my opinion.

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