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GST registration in Gujarat stricter with passport-like mechanism: Minister

Gandhinagar, Sep 13, 2023 

The Gujarat government has decided to put in place a passport-like mechanism, wherein the applicant undergoes police verification, in the GST registration process to tackle bogus billing, the legislative assembly was informed on Wednesday.

The announcement was made by state Finance Minister Kanubhai Desai in the House on the first day of the monsoon session.

To tackle the menace of bogus billing, we have decided to tighten the process of GST registration and make it more stricter. We will follow a passport-like registration process (including police verification) for those seeking a GST number. This will eliminate the chances of fraud through bogus billing, said Desai.

The minister shared the plan while responding to the members of the opposition Congress over the issue of unscrupulous individuals claiming tax credits by producing fake bills.

He was speaking after tabling a Bill which seeks to rationalise the rate of interest on delayed payment of taxes and duties.

The minister informed the House that The Gujarat Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023' would fix the maximum rate of interest and also empower the government to specify a lower rate of interest by issuing a notification. The Bill was passed through a majority vote in the BJP-ruled assembly.

The assembly also passed two more Bills The Gujarat Goods and Service Tax (Amendment) Bill and The Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park World Heritage Area Management Authority (Repeal) Bill.

Following a heated debate, The Gujarat GST (Amendment) Bill, which proposes a 28 per cent tax on bets in online gaming, casinos and horse race clubs, was passed through a majority voice vote.

Senior Congress MLA CJ Chavda urged the government to withdraw the Bill claiming that it would legalise gambling in Gujarat because instead of punishing the accused, the government will now collect tax from him for placing bets through online applications.

Notably, Parliament already passed a similar Bill in August to implement amendments to the Central and Integrated GST laws to levy a 28 per cent tax on online gaming, casinos and horse race clubs.

The third Bill proposed the abolishment of an authority created in 2006 to preserve heritage structures near Champaner and Pavagadh in Panchmahal district.

The assembly was informed that the authority created in 2006 is of no use today because the state government created 'Pavagadh Area Development Authority' in June this year for the same purpose.

[Press Trust of India]

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