Replace private companies in GST network with govt firms: Subramanian Swamy

Accusing the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram of his failure to obtain the necessary security clearance while setting up the GSTN, Swamy said the whole process could be struck down by the Supreme Court.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published: September 5, 2016 7:39 pm
swamy, subramanian swamy, gst, gst bill, gst bill passed, gst bill subramanian swamy, goods and services tax, gst network, gst, private firms gstn, public firms gstn, arun jaitley, india news Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy in New Delhi. (Source: Reuters)

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on September 5 said it may not be possible to implement GST unless private companies are replaced by state-owned firms in the GSTN, the backbone for putting in place the new indirect tax regime.

Accusing the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram of his failure to obtain the necessary security clearance while setting up the GST Network (GSTN), Swamy said the whole process could be struck down by the Supreme Court.

Speaking at a book release function, he said that in the “normal” course security clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs should have been obtained as GSTN would be handling sensitive tax data.

The government of India holds 24.5 per cent stake in GSTN while state governments together hold another 24.5 per cent. The balance 51 per cent equity is with non-government financial institutions, like HDFC Bank, HDFC Ltd, ICICI Bank, NSE Strategic Investment Corporation and LIC Housing Finance.

“GSTN cannot take off unless you first get security clearance,” Swamy said while pointing out that even the Rajya Sabha Select Committee that scrutinised the GST Bill had said that presence of private companies, with significant foreign holding, in GSTN is not “desirable”.

“It (GSTN) will not be able to pass the Home Ministry security clearance until the Rajya Sabha Select Committee unanimous recommendation is implemented and HDFC Bank, NSE, LIC Housing Finance and ICICI Bank are all removed and replaced by (public sector banks) because tax data is sensitive. It is confidential. We cannot allow foreigners the right to get this data,” Swamy said.

He also made a case for “prosecution” of Chidambaram.

The BJP Rajya Sabha member said the present equity structure of GSTN is “anti-national” and he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard.

“I am told”, Swamy said that the Prime Minister has enquired from officers regarding the issues raised by him.

The MP also said he would be raising the issue in Parliament through a special resolution.

The Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) is the special purpose vehicle that was formed under the previous UPA regime to set up the information technology framework for rolling out the indirect tax regime that will replace a string of local levies.

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  1. V
    Vish
    Sep 14, 2016 at 5:33 am
    Hats off to Subramanian Swamy for catching a major major fraud on the country and its people. The GSTN is similar to appointing the Shah of Iran to the throne of Iran to bring "democracy" to Iran. Please read some of the by-laws of GSTN. Why does it want to set up branch offices in foreign countries? Why does it want to set up a "charity" organization to distribute its surplus when the money belongs to tax paying Indians? Why are its board minutes not available to the public?
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    1. naidu kare
      Sep 6, 2016 at 3:16 am
      His only dream is to accuse people who have done good work with false allegations. chidambaram is not in power. why cant Arun Jaitley be questioned about what is being done?
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      1. R
        ravi kanzal
        Sep 6, 2016 at 1:21 pm
        he speaks hard truth always..great information Dr swamy..way to go
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        1. R
          RAMASWAMY
          Sep 6, 2016 at 3:38 am
          third cl mean minded fellow subramaniyam scamy.
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          1. Sanchayan Sarkar
            Sep 6, 2016 at 4:45 pm
            Swammy is a big hindrance to the country
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