GSTN brought under PMLA to intimidate Oppn leaders: Congress

 - Sakshi Post

New Delhi, July 12 (IANS) The Congress on Wednesday slammed the BJP government at the Centre for bringing the GST Network under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) saying it is a way by the Narendra Modi government to practice, promote and propagate tax terrorism and intimidate opposition leaders ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. 

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: "Bringing GSTN under the PMLA is a way by the Modi government to practice, promote and propagate tax terrorism. The triplet tactic of constraint, compulsion, and coercion by the BJP through the new law shall wreak havoc on the business community in India."

He said that "this is another tactic by the BJP to intimidate, incarcerate and imprison opposition leaders just ahead of the general elections".

He said that the government has brought the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) under the PMLA, as per a notification dated July 7.

"The notification by Finance Ministry has amended an earlier 2006 notification that will facilitate sharing of information between the GSTN, Enforcement Directorate and other investigative agencies. The changes have been made for provisions under Section 66 of the PMLA, which provides for the disclosure of information," the Congress Rajya Sabha MP said.

He further said that in November last year, the government added 15 agencies to this list.

"The move to include GSTN under the money laundering law comes amid rising cases of GST fraud and fake registrations. Experts said under the money laundering provisions, tax authorities will get more power to trace the original beneficiary in case of fraud," Singhvi said.

Citing the drawbacks of the government's move, the Congress leader said that on Tuesday at the 50th GST Council meeting, at least nine states opposed the proposal of the Modi government to bring the GSTN within the ambit of the PMLA.

Questioning the move of the government to bring the GST Network under PMLA through a gazette notification of the Finance Ministry on July 7, he said: "Bringing the gazette without any discussion or debate in Parliament raises legitimate apprehensions. Even the GST Council members were blindsided and raised their voices in protest at this move."

"The clandestine nature of this move demonstrates that the Modi government was aware that such a move would face severe backlash from the public. What was the tearing hurry? Why could this not be discussed before hurriedly seeking to subject the GSTN and sensitive trader information into the hands of the ED?" he questioned.

He also said that no convincing justification has been given by the government on the new rules.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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