Finance Minister Discusses Fraud GST Refunds With Chartered Accountants Delegation

New Delhi: Amid some chartered accountants coming under the scanner for alleged fraudulent GST refunds, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held discussions with a delegation of chartered accountants’ apex body Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on “various issues” on Monday.

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) tweeted about the meeting.

In a series of tweets, CBIC said the delegation was also apprised about the suspension of a Deputy Commissioner and a Superintendent of GST in connection with fraudulent GST refunds.

Investigations by the CGST Gurugram are going on into the matter of fraudulent GST refunds. Two chartered accountants were arrested in connection with an alleged ₹ 15 crore GST refund scam, a development that also resulted in protests by chartered accountants.

Against this backdrop, Ms Sitharaman, who is also in charge of the Corporate Affairs Ministry, met the delegation of ICAI on Monday.

“Smt @nsitharaman held a meeting with @theicai delegation, led by VP Shri Aniket Sunil Talati. The MoF had invited the ICAI on Saturday to discuss various issues, including ongoing investigations by CGST Gurugram into alleged role of their members in fraudulent GST refunds,” the CBIC said in a tweet.

Ms Sitharaman was appreciative of the steps taken by the ICAI on engagement with stakeholders. The ICAI representatives also informed that they will continue to use recently-enacted ‘CA, CWA and CS Act’ for the inculcation of professional discipline and integrity among its members, as per the tweets.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the ICAI said its council on Friday discussed the matter related to the recent arrest of chartered accountants and other instances of ill- treatment of chartered accountants by investigating authorities.

The council members expressed their strong resentment on the manner in which certain investigating officers are treating chartered accountants and directly resorting to arrests, according to the statement.

It also resolved to form a group comprising its members to interface with authorities in order to ensure that just and fair treatment is meted out to chartered accountants and that they are not made soft targets, the statement said.

On Saturday, members of the Gurugram chapter of the North Indian Regional Council of the ICAI took to the streets to protest against the arrest of two chartered accountants in connection with the GST refund scam.

According to the police, a few days back, some men had faked a business and filed for a refund of ₹ 15 crore of GST. The two arrested accountants had allegedly attested their documents and aided in all official work which helped in the release of the refund, they had said. (Source: NDTV)