GST officials unearthed 21,791 fake registrations and detected suspected tax evasion of over Rs 24,000 crore, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman revealed.
The Finance Minister the scams came to light during a two-month special drive.
She said officers received instructions to exercise caution in powers like summons, provisional property attachment and blocking of tax credits to secure the interests of genuine taxpayers.
A total of 21,791 entities (11,392 entities pertaining to state tax jurisdiction and 10,399 entities pertaining to CBIC jurisdiction) having GST registration were discovered to be non-existent. An amount of Rs 24,010 crore (state – Rs 8,805 crore + Centre – Rs 15,205 crore) of suspected tax evasion was detected during the special drive,” she said.
The minister responded to a question on the number of entities identified as having fake registrations, and the total amount of evasion identified during the special drive against fake GST registrations conducted by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) between May 16 and July 15, 2023.
Parliament Winter Session 2023: Lok Sabha passes J&K bills on Reorganisation and Reservation. Check Details
Asked whether the government factored in the challenges encountered by e-commerce enterprises in getting GST registrations, especially operating in virtual spaces, she mentioned that considering the special nature of e-commerce operators, a streamlined procedure for registration of e-commerce operators has already been notified.
Following the findings, amendments have been made in GST Rules to shore up the registration process, including biometric-based Aadhaar authentication for high-risk registrants.
According to media reports, a pilot project for this was launched in Gujarat, extended to Puducherry in July and to Andhra Pradesh in November.
Additionally, details of bank account, name and PAN of the registered person must be furnished within 30 days of the grant of registration or before filing of the statement of outward supply, whichever is earlier.