13.07.2023: Brought GST under PMLA purview to empower investigators in fighting financial fraud: Centre

The Centre’s move to bring the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) under the purview of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was to empower the relevant investigating agencies to deal with tax fraud and money laundering matters, and not giving outright access to data to any party, said revenue secretary Sanjay Malhotra.

“Under the recent finance ministry notification, it was clarified that it will only empower our tax authorities with more information,” the secretary told reporters Tuesday after the 50th GST Council meet here in the national capital.

“GSTN is a recipient of information. It was clarified that ED is not getting any information, neither it is providing any information through this notification.”

“The Director FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit) shall provide information to empower authorities wherever they feel there's chance of tax evasion or money laundering,” he added.

The central government on Saturday issued a notification to bring the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). With the implementation of the said order, the information stored on the GST Network can now be shared, as may be required, under the PMLA Act.

Meanwhile, the Delhi National Capital Territory government has opposed the Centre’s move to bring the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) under the PMLA, and demanded a discussion on it.

“A very important was raised by several Finance Ministers, including that of Delhi – why GST has been brought under PMLA. A gazette was issued on 7th July as per which the entire GST system was brought under Prevention of Money Laundering Act. It means that those who pay GST can now be prosecuted by ED under PMLA (on the pretext of fraud), Delhi NCT Revenue Minister Atishi told reporters after the 50th GST Council meeting.

Atishi said some other Opposition-ruled too raised this issue in the GST Council meeting.

“We have seen how ED (Enforcement Directorate) is used to harass and arrest people…We oppose this, we demanded a discussion. But the Centre and FM (finance minister) Sitharaman are not ready for a discussion on the same,” Atishi added.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who heads the GST Council, chaired the meeting on Tuesday.

Source: The Economic Times 

Register Today