Cabinet approves proposal to convert GSTN into government entity

The Union Cabinet approved the proposal to convert Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) into a government-owned company. The government will now own 100percentt of the IT backbone to the new indirect tax regime.

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Background 

  • in May 2018, GST Council, chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state finance ministers had agreed to make GSTN a government company with Centre owning 50% stake and states together holding the remaining 50%
  • Over the  1.1 crore businesses are registered on GSTN portal. With the enhanced role of GSTN from just collecting taxes to data analytics, Government had felt that it should now be the majority owner in the IT backbone provider

Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN)

  • GSTN was incorporated as a private limited company on March 28, 2013
  • It was established primarily to provide IT infrastructure and services to Central and State Governments, taxpayers and other stakeholders for the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • Currently, Centre and states together hold 49% stake (24.5% each) in GSTN. The remaining 51% is owned by five private financial institutions- ICICI Bank, NSE, HDFC Ltd, HDFC Bank, and LIC Housing Finance Ltd. Its revenue model after GST was rollout out consisted of User Charge to be paid by stakeholders who will use the system and making it self-sustaining organization

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