Mandatory Biometric Verification at GST Service Centers keeps bogus applicants away

To promote transparency in the GST registration process and prevent bogus registrations, 12 GST Service Centers were launched across Gujarat in November 2023. As a result of this initiative, bogus applicants have been deterred from filing an application with fake credentials. With a large number of bogus applicants keeping away, the number of GST registration applications has witnessed an average monthly decline of about 25% between November 2023 and May 2024.

The introduction of mandatory biometric authentication showed positive results from the very first month as the GST Registration Applications declined by over 55% in November 2023-24 as compared to the data in November 2022-23. The illustrated data shows the number of applications received and the corresponding decrease in percentage for the fiscal years 2022-23 and 2023-24:

Month 2022-23 2023-24 Decrease in %
November 26640 11914 55.28
December 23636 19629 16.94
January 31501 21664 31.23
February 25484 21202 16.80
March 25107 19825 21.04
April 23881 20032 16.12
May 23989 19777 17.52
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As per the Gujarat State Tax Department, there were instances of people taking advantage of the old system by registering for GST using the credentials of poor people and using their fake documents to evade taxes.

However, with the introduction of mandatory biometric registration at the newly inaugurated GST Service Centers, the applicants are called for their biometric verification. They are scrutinized based on over 40 parameters at the center in one go and their GST Registration Numbers are issued. With all biometric authentication for the State and Central GST registration managed by the 12 GST Seva Kendras, the process has become much easier, transparent, and smooth.

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12 GST Service Centres in Gujarat

On November 7, 2023, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the 12 GST Service Centers in Gujarat. Presently, these centers are operational in various cities across the state, including Vapi, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Godhra, Mehsana, Palanpur, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Junagadh, and Gandhidham.

Gujarat became the first state to launch the GST service centres. With the successful implementation of these centres in Gujarat, the government has decided to extend the system nationwide. The officials from various states, including Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh, alongside members of the GST Council have visited the Gujarat centers to witness their operations firsthand and take-away the learnings.

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