Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that “trickster” P. Chidambaram had changed Pranab Mukherjee’s model of GSTN by bringing private parties into it and urged to re-convert into a fully government owned one. In a four page letter, Swamy said that the former Finance Minister in 2011 has formed GSTN, the IT backbone of GST into a fully government controlled Special Purpose Vehicle with only three partners – Centre, State Governments and National Securities Depository Ltd. (NSDL), a government controlled depository for stock markets.
But in 2013, the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram reconstituted GSTN and inducted five private players controlled by foreign investors – ICICI Bank, HDFC, HDFC Bank, LIC Housing Finance Ltd and NSE Strategic Investment Corp Ltd. These five private firms were given 51 percent of the shares in GSTN (Goods Services Tax Network) and Centre and State Governments share shrunk to 49 percent.
“The NSE subsidiary, NSE Strategic Investment Corp Ltd is headed by a crooked crony of P Chidambaram, viz. Ravi Narayan, has affiliation with the foreign company, viz. Advent International Corp (Advent) which was responsible in Brazil for the acquisition and control of CETIP, a depository of fixed income securities and private pensions in Brazil, valued at over US$1.65 trillion,” said Swamy reminding Prime Minister that this movement ultimately led to the impeachment of the President of Brazil.
Swamy pointed out that the provisions included in the GSTN that CAG can’t audit is totally ridiculous. Except the initial share subscription amount of just Rs. 1 crore ($150,000), the 51 percent shareholding private companies have not spent any amount and the minor shareholder Centre has already spend more than Rs. 1000 crores ($150 million), he said. The four page letter is published in the end of the article, explaining the illegality of GSTN in its current structure.
Swamy reminded Modi that this would be questioned by Supreme Court as tax collection related activities are totally a sovereign activity. “India will be risking its sovereignty by permitting collection and allocation of tax revenues to foreign control. This will be like home coming of the neo-East India Company through a backdoor,” he said pointing out the leakage of tax data and rigging in stock exchanges.
“This would be anti-Swadeshi to the extreme and betrayal of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya on his birth anniversary. I would recomend that you direct GSTN be restored to the structure decided when our respected Rashtrapati was Finance Minister and not adopt the structure decided by one of India’s most corrupt and notorious confidence trickster P Chidambaram,” said Swamy, pointing out the private banks’ agenda is nothing but to grab the billions worth commissions from GST collection in the future.
1. The conversion rate used in this article is 1 USD = 66.56 Rupees.
2. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
A copy of the letter by Swamy to the Prime Minister is shown below:
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