We all know what GST is and we know it will subsume all the existing indirect taxes. It is going to be a real boost for the economy’s growth and it is in line with the global practices.
But do we know what GSTN is and who owns it?
Though GSTN is nowhere mentioned in the Budget, but I would like to present it in the Application as most of the Indians are not aware of this.
What is GSTN
Goods and Services Tax Network, (GSTN) is a Section 8 (under new companies Act, not for profit companies are governed under section 8), non-Government, private limited company. The Company has been set up primarily to provide IT infrastructure and services to the Central and State Governments, tax payers and other stakeholders for implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The Authorised Capital of the company is Rs. 10,00,00,000 (Rupees ten crore only).
In simple terms, it is a data processing and tax revenue collecting company.
If we look into the shareholding pattern of GSTN Company, we can see that Government holding in that company is only 49% whereas the 51% is held by Private financial institutions like ICICI Bank , HDFC Bank HDFC Ltd, LIC Housing Finance and National Stock Exchange Strategic Investment Corporation.
If we further look into the shareholding pattern of ICICI bank, HDFC bank, HDFC LTD, LIC Housing Finance, more than 50% is held by foreign investors.
And recently there has been a news that the government is going to give Rs. 1600 crores to GSTN as a user fee.
After holding only 49% why the government is offering to give Rs. 1600 crores when there is no such big contribution from the private financial institutions.
Hence, there is reckless disregard to the use of public funds to benefit the private shareholders and employees.
The GSTN chairman has vehemently opposed the audit of the company by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). The Apex Auditor has taken very serious objection to this decision of GSTN to not submit themselves to audit by the CAG and have lodged a complaint with the Finance Ministry.
If the private shareholding is allowed in the GSTN, then the data of our taxpayers can be viewed by the foreign investors.
So, considering the above factors the GSTN needs to be restructured in national interest.