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Government mulls to convert GST Network into 100% state-owned company

GSTN was incorporated as a private limited company on March 28, 2013 under the UPA government

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Ministers panel to resolve GSTN issues: Arun Jaitley
Illustration: Ajay Mohanty

The government is considering converting GST Network- which is handling the IT infrastructure of the new indirect tax regime - into a state-owned company, an official source said.

Currently, private financial institutions are the majority owners in with 51 per cent stake, while the centre and states together hold 49 per cent.

According to the source, has asked Finance Secretary to "examine the possibility" of converting into a majority government company or a 100 per cent government company.

The government is now thinking of hiking its stake in the company as the portal has been fully operationalised with stability in tax collection and implementation of e-way bill.

The source further said the government kept its stake in at 49 per cent and incorporated it as a private company to "allow adequate flexibility and freedom" to GSTN to "ensure timely implementation of the IT infrastructure" prior to the GST rollout.

(GST), which subsumed over a dozen local taxes, was rolled out on July 1, 2017.

According to the source, the government believes it should be a majority owner considering GSTN's enhanced role from just collecting tax to data analytics.

GSTN was incorporated as a private limited company on March 28, 2013 under the Non-government financial institutions namely HDFC, Bank, ICICI Bank, NSE Strategic Investment Co and LIC Housing Finance Ltd hold 51 per cent stake in GSTN.

Over one crore businesses are registered on the GSTN portal.

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy had earlier on multiple occasions raised concerns over GSTN's shareholding pattern, and said it might compromise data security.

Swamy had written to in August 2016 asking him to give a close second look into the shareholding pattern and questioned how a private entity can be allowed access to "sensitive" information without security.

First Published: Tue, April 10 2018. 21:22 IST