India lost a whopping Rs 12 lakh crore due to years of delay in implementation of the GST due to the stiff opposition by the BJP when the UPA government was in power, the Opposition said on Wednesday.
Initiating a discussion on the four Goods and Services Tax (GST) bills in the Lok Sabha, Congress leader Veerappa Moily said what the NDA government has brought about in the name of a “revolutionary tax reform is not a game changer but only a baby step”.
Criticising various provisions in the proposed GST regime, Moily said it will be a “technological nightmare” and the anti-profiteering provisions in it are “far too draconian”.
“Seven to eight years have passed after the erstwhile UPA government wanted to bring the GST bill. Some parties then felt it should be halted due to reasons best known to them,” he said.
The former law minister said due to the delay caused in the roll out of GST, the country lost around Rs 1.5 lakh crore annually and put the total loss at Rs 12 lakh crore.
Asking who will compensate for this “huge loss”, Moily said the country was deprived of massive financial benefits due to the “damaging political gambles”.
Moily also slammed the Narendra Modi government for “high as well as too many taxes under the proposed GST system which he said does not reflect the original spirit behind the new tax regime”.
“The one nation, one tax concept is only a myth. There are too many rates, cesses... What you brought today cannot be called a game changer but only a baby step,” said Moily.
Referring to the “complexities” in the inter-state transactions proposed under under the GST, he called some of the provisions as “retrogade”.
The Congress leader also took strong exception to leaving the real estate sector out of the ambit of the GST. “The real estate sector generates lot of black money. It is very unfortunate that the sector was not brought under the ambit of GST,” said Moily.
Earlier, finance minister Arun Jaitley introduced four bills in the Lok Sabha to give effect to the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Jaitley said the legislations will have to be passed by Parliament and one by each of the state assemblies to turn India into one market with a single tax rate.
The bills are the Central Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017, the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017, the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Bill, 2017 and the Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017.