Authentication with Aadhaar biometrics or in person to be mandatory for GST refunds

India’s GST (Goods and Services Tax) Network has declared all new dealers must perform mandatory Aadhaar biometric authentication or physical verification, starting in January 2020, to reduce fraud in the system, India Today reports.

“Aadhaar authentication of new dealers will be mandatory. Earlier it was optional. But we have noticed in two years that there’s good number of fly-by-night operators. They make fake invoices,” explained Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who heads a group of GST Network ministers.

In order to control GST refunding, the Network has decided online refunding must be carried out from either Central GST or State GST as a single source, according to Bihar. A simplified return system may also be launched in the new year.

The country’s central government, meanwhile, will not oppose the transfer of cases on the linking of social media accounts to Aadhaar to the Supreme Court, the Hindustan Times reports. Facebook has sought to transfer the cases brought in multiple states to their state high courts to the Supreme Court, a move which the Tamil Nadu government has already stated it opposes.

Facebook notes that cases filed in Madras, Bombay, and Madhya Pradesh high courts have a common objective, and says that the decision should be consistent across the country “to ensure that users are afforded equal privacy protections across India,” and to prevent it from having to apply different rules in different states. The Supreme Court responded in part by asking the central government to clarify if it is planning legislation on the issue.

The Tamil Nadu government took issue with Facebook’s claim, saying that its objective is actually to address the traceability of online crimes and misinformation.

The Madras High Court has already ruled that the Supreme Court’s previous decision on linking Aadhaar with private services prevents its use for social media accounts.

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