No security clearance was obtained for private institutions that hold stake in GST- Network — the company that is building IT infrastructure for the world’s biggest indirect tax system, the government said Friday. The Government of India has 24.5 per cent stake in Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) and the state governments an
equal share. The remaining 51 per cent is with private financial institutions.
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Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar said HDFC Ltd, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, NSE Strategic Investment Co hold 10 per cent each in GSTN, while LIC Housing Finance holds 11 per cent. “No security clearance was obtained in respect of the private institutions mentioned above,” Gangwar said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.
He said the Union Cabinet had in April 2012 approved creation GSTN as a non-Government, not-for-profit (Section
25), private limited company to be registered under the Companies Act, with 49 per cent equity held by the Central and state governments collectively and 51 per cent by non-government institutions. “The shareholding pattern ensures that centre individually and states collectively are the largest stakeholders at 24.5 per cent each. In combination, the Government shareholding at 49 per cent far exceeds that of any single private institution,” Gangwar said.
Incorporated on March 28, 2013, GSTN was set up with a specific mandate to build the IT infrastructure and the services required for implementing GST. The government plans to roll out the new indirect tax regime from April next year. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has questioned the structure of the entity created under the previous UPA regime saying how a private firm can be allowed access to “sensitive” tax information without security clearance.