Subramanian Swamy pointed out that the UPA government had set up the Goods and Services Tax Network – GSTN to manage and control the tax collection and accounting of the GST.
Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to review the UPA government’s decision to outsource data management and computation of tax share to a private entity.
In his letter to the PM, Swamy said that this was a swift and secret move on the part of the previous government to hand over this sensitive task to a private entity. He pointed out that the UPA government had set up the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) to manage and control the tax collection and accounting of the GST.
“The Centre and the state governments have only 49 per cent stake in the GSTN. If GSTN is a non-profit organisation, then why should private profit-making entities have any stake, that too a majority one,” the MP asked.
Neither the home minister was consulted nor his permission sought before handing over such sensitive task to the private entity, he added.
Swamy’s stance on the GSTN was evident by his silence during the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, thought he did privately object to the bill. Bound by the party whip, he did vote in favour of the amendment bill in the Rajya Sabha.
Questioning the rationale for handing over data management and computation of tax collection, Swamy pointed out that the most significant player in the tax collection efforts are the central and state governments, and others issues like adjusting the percentage of GST for various states is “merely a matter of programming which could bear done by the government through its department of Electronics” .
Although Swamy’s objection is apparently to the previous government’s decision, however, the situation once again puts him at odds with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The finance minister had earlier defended the UPA government in the course of his speech on the GST Bill in the Lok Sabha, in response to similar objections raised by TMC MP Saugata Roy.