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GST Registration: Aadhaar Biometric Authentication to Combat Fraud in Andhra Pradesh

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  • Post published:November 21, 2023
  • Post category:GST News

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How does Andhra Pradesh Strengthen GST registration with biometric aadhaar authentication?

In a proactive measure to combat fraudulent entries, the Finance Ministry has expanded the implementation of biometric Aadhaar authentication for GST registration to Andhra Pradesh. This move follows the successful pilot projects in Gujarat and Puducherry, where biometric-based Aadhaar authentication was introduced to enhance registration processes and deter fraudulent activities.

Finance Ministry’s GST Rule Amendment:

The recent amendment to the GST Rules by the Finance Ministry introduces biometric verification as a crucial tool to counter fake registrations. Detailed guidelines prioritize the scrutiny of ‘High Risk’ applicants, emphasizing biometric checks, assessment of past registration records, and scrutiny of dubious business addresses.

Expansion of Biometric Aadhaar Authentication to Andhra Pradesh:

Applicants seeking GST registration in Andhra Pradesh must undergo biometric-based Aadhaar authentication based on their risk profile. This strategic move aims to curb fraudulent registrations and enhance the overall integrity of the GST registration process. Initially implemented in Gujarat and Puducherry, the Finance Ministry’s decision to include Andhra Pradesh in this initiative demonstrates a commitment to national efforts against fake and fraudulent registrations.

GST Council’s Decision:

The decision to tighten the registration process was made during the GST Council meeting on December 17, 2022. The council recommended conducting a pilot program in Gujarat, focusing on biometric-based Aadhaar authentication and risk-based physical verification of registration applicants. Amendments to Rule 8 and Rule 9 of CGST Rules 2017 facilitate the incorporation of biometric authentication in the registration process, a move lauded for its potential to address the growing menace of fake registrations.

Rule 8 and Rule 9 Amendments:

Rule 8, which deals with the application procedure for registration, now includes a sub-rule (4A) emphasizing biometric-based Aadhaar authentication and the capture of applicant photographs during the authentication process. Rule 9, related to verification of the application and approval, has been updated to include enhanced scrutiny measures.

CBIC’s Guidelines:

In June 2023, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) issued detailed guidelines for GST registration, focusing on ‘High Risk’ applicants. The guidelines instruct officers to initiate the scrutiny process upon receiving an application, examining the authenticity of documents and proof of address. The Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management (DGARM) and GSTN are already categorising applicants into low, medium, and high-risk categories.

Risk Parameters and Scrutiny:

The officers will pay special attention to cases with a “High” risk rating, including instances where the applicant’s previous registrations on the PAN were cancelled or suspended. The verification process also considers whether the applicant’s place of business poses a risk based on local parameters and evaluates the authenticity of the business address.

Conclusion

Integrating biometric Aadhaar authentication into the GST registration process in Andhra Pradesh represents a significant step towards ensuring the system’s integrity and combating fraudulent activities. With a focus on ‘High Risk’ applicants and enhanced scrutiny measures, the Finance Ministry, GST Council, and CBIC collectively aim to create a robust registration framework that safeguards against fake registrations and strengthens the overall efficiency of the GST system.

Sumitha

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