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Aadhaar biometrics verification for GST registration pilot in India to expand

Aadhaar biometrics verification for GST registration pilot in India to expand

Applicants registering for Goods and Service Tax (GST) numbers in the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry will be asked to perform a risk-based biometric-based Aadhaar authentication in a pilot program.

The government announcement states that Andhra Pradesh State has said it will join the pilot following initial readiness testing in Gujarat and Puducherry.

The GST Administration’s announcement follows recent reports that the government has become concerned with fraudulent tax credit claims. Authorized representatives or directors associated with applications that fail the risk assessment will be asked to perform biometric authentication.

Central government Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra, meanwhile, says a campaign to crack down on fake registrations may go beyond its original planned conclusion on July 15, The Hindu Business Line reports. He says that close to 70,000 registrations had been considered suspicious so far, though most were successfully verified.

For as long as it lasts, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) will direct people involved in registrations deemed suspicious to perform biometric identity verification in-person at an Aadhaar center, according to the report.

The Business Line recounts a fraud incident in Gujarat in which criminals used PAN and Aadhaar numbers of economically disadvantaged people, without their knowledge, to register fraudulent GST accounts.

A program to flush out fraudulent SIM cards in Gujarat with facial recognition caught 30,000 alleged fakes earlier this year.

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