GSTN security clearance key to bill passage in House: Swamy

Terming the company formed to create IT backbone for rollout of GST as “anti-national”, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy today said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill can be passed by Parliament only if GSTN gets security clearance.

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 backbone for rolling out the indirect tax regime that will replace myriad local levies.

In a string of tweets and replies, Swamy also said that GST can be implemented only if the Supreme Court clears a petition on levy of entry tax.

“GST Bill can be passed by Sansad if two issues are addressed: MoH (Ministry of Home) security clearance of GSTN & reply to H. Adhia’s 7 challenges. Date: 2020,” Swamy tweeted.

But it was not immediately clear what he meant by ‘Date: 2020’.

The government of India holds 24.5 per cent stake in GSTN while state governments, including NCT of Delhi and Puducherry, and the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers, together hold another 24.5 per cent. Balance 51 per cent equity is with non-government financial institutions.

Swamy has seen seeking full government controlled authority.

In the tweet today, he referred to seven challenges including fixing of the GST rate, deciding on exempt list and ensuring no dual control by the centre and states, listed out by Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia for roll out of GST from April 1, 2017.

As one of his twitter followers asked when GST law will come into effect and if there is any possibility of its implementation from 2017 onwards, Swamy replied: “As of now it won’t clear Supreme Court.” A nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court is hearing a slew of petitions challenging the legality of entry tax imposed by states as it hinders free trade. The Centre has argued that GST implementation would do away with the entry tax.

In further tweets, Swamy said, “Why this media anger over my raising GSTN’s anti-national structure? RS Select Committee Report to Parliament on 22/7/15 said the same thing.” He said the “same anti-India forces” were batting for a second term for RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan.

“Media anger since same anti-India forces pushing for 2nd term for R3, are determined to get GSTN controlled by foreign commercial interests,” he said.

Swamy had accused Rajan of keeping interest rates high and hurting the economic growth.

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