Biometric Authentication Pilot for Online Tax Registration Begins in India

By Ayang Macdonald

A pilot that will require Indians to submit their biometrics while registering for a new Goods and Services Tax (GST) number on a dedicated portal gets underway this week in the State of Gujarat.

The biometric registration process for GST had been suspended in September following disagreement with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) over access to the Aadhaar biometric digital ID database.

The GST is an online indirect tax payment system. Developed by the Goods and Tax Services Network (GSTN), a not-for-profit organization, the pilot will be launched in the city of Vapi, per The Times Of India (TOI).

Officials say the new registration system which requires biometric authentication is to curb incidents of Aadhaar fraud which is persistent in the country, notably in the banking sector.

An unnamed official is quoted by the TOI as saying that people have complained in the past of GST numbers registered in their names without them knowing about it.

It is hoped that the system, which requires registrants giving their fingerprint biometrics, will go a long way in reducing fraud in the GST registration process.

Once the pilot phase has been completed, the new GST registration with biometrics will be extended to other states and union territories across the country, the Union government has assured.

Meanwhile, in an advisory, the GSTN team informed tax payers of the new GST biometric registration details.

Per the advisory, the new functionality also allows for ID document verification and an appointment booking system for biometric verification after the submission of a pre-registration application form.

Source: Biometric Update

Ayang Macdonald is a freelance journalist based in Yaounde, Cameroon. He boasts 10 years of professional experience in journalism in which he has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Buea in South western Cameroon. He is a versatile reporter with interest in ICTs, innovation, digital entrepreneurship, defense and military, politics, economy, health and environment, humanitarian issues and sports.

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