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All tax data will be completely secure, GSTN assures India Inc

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

GST-Network -- the firm which is building the IT backbone of the Goods and Services Tax regime -- yesterday assured stakeholders that all their data will be stored in an encrypted form and only the taxpayer and the assessing officer will have access to the information. Assuaging concerns of data theft, GSTN CEO Prakash Kumar said data will be stored with two-layers of security.

Addressing a PHD Chamber event here, Kumar assured the industry that GSTN is applying the "best available security systems for data". "Security of your data is of prime importance because in invoice, the item cost is also included. We are cognisant of the fact that if your competitor comes to know of it, it will be a big set back for you.

"So all the information which will come to us, it is always in encrypted mode and the best possible security systems we have provided from the perimeter to inside," Kumar said. He said the database administrator has been designed in a way that no outsider can see the data.

"Only two people can have access -- taxpayer himself or his tax officer who is responsible for that. So all role based taxes, others cannot see. "We are applying best available security systems for data, whether it is movement or in storage," he said.

GSTN, Kumar said, will complete training of 60,000 central and state officers by mid-May to prepare them for the new IT backbone for GST. He added that 75.28 per cent of the existing VAT assessees have already migrated to the GSTN portal, while 31.5 per cent of service tax assessees have enroled so far.

As many as 56.5 lakh out of an estimated 80 lakh excise, service tax and VAT assessees have migrated to the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) portal so far. The portal is all geared up to handle about 300 crore invoices per month which will be generated under the GST regime.

GSTN has been set up primarily to provide IT infrastructure and services to central and state governments, taxpayers and other stakeholders for implementation of the GST. However, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy has on multiple occasions raised concerns over GSTN's shareholding pattern, and said it might compromise data security.

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