India’s nodal nationwide company accountable for administering Customs, GST, and central excise, and its apex taxation physique for direct taxation on Tuesday signed an settlement for knowledge alternate between the 2 organisations, permitting them to share knowledge on an “automatic and regular basis”. Along with common alternate of information, CBDT and CBIC may also alternate with one another, “on request and spontaneous basis, any information available in their respective databases which may have utility for the other organisation”. This comes simply weeks after CBDT signed the same settlement with market regulator SEBI.

A Information Alternate Steering Group has additionally been constituted for the initiative, which is able to meet periodically to overview the info alternate standing and take steps to additional enhance the effectiveness of the data-sharing mechanism, the Finance Ministry mentioned in a press release. It’s unclear who the members of those steering group are.

This settlement supersedes an information entry settlement between CBDT and CBIC in 2015 since “significant developments have taken place since the signing of earlier MoU in 2015 including introduction of GST, incorporation of GSTN and change in the nomenclature of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) to Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC),” the Ministry mentioned.

The MoU was signed by Pramod Chandra Mody, chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), and M. Ajit Kumar, chairman of the Central Board of Oblique Taxes and Customs (CBIC).

Why that is essential: We had earlier identified that since knowledge may be shared on an automatic foundation, the 2 businesses have unfettered entry to one another’s databases which they will use at will and knowledge is now not siloed. That is symptomatic of a bigger pattern within the authorities that seeks to merge completely different databases to nice centralised repositories of information on residents and organisations, as was totally documented within the Financial Survey of 2018-19.