Modi govt’s GST a mockery; very, very imperfect: P Chidambaram
The former finance minister said, “When we have was rates such as 0.25, 3, 5, 12, 18, 28 and 40, and possibly more because of the discretion vested with state governments, how can we call this a ‘one nation, one tax’ regime.”india Updated: Jul 07, 2017 00:13 IST
Former finance minister P Chidambaram dubbed “very, very imperfect” the BJP-led NDA government’s Goods and Services Tax (GST), asserting that the Congress will continue to articulate the “fears and grievances” of small and medium businesses, multi-state businesses and consumers.
The party will monitor the roll out of the new tax structure and also launch a nationwide campaign for the implementation of a “true” GST which was envisaged by the Congress and designed and advised by tax experts such as Vijay Kelkar and Parthasarathi Shome.
“We will demand a cap of 18% and petroleum products, electricity and real estate be brought under GST, press for a reduction in rates and keep a vigil on the possible misuse of the draconian powers given to the anti-profiteering authority,” he said.
The Congress will highlight the elements of a “true” GST and hold meetings and conferences to emphasise that it was the original proponent of the move.
“This is a very, very imperfect law. This is not the GST which we had envisaged...What has been implemented, however, is a GST with seven, or possibly more, rates,” Chidambaram said.
“When we have rates like 0.25, 3, 5, 12, 18, 28 and 40, and possibly more because of the discretion vested with state governments, how can we call this a one nation, one tax regime?” he asked.
The main opposition party will also vociferously raise the issue of “flaws” in the GST in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament as well.
Chidambaram claimed that authorities and businesses were “unprepared or underprepared” for the roll-out of the tax regime and said its launch should have been deferred by two months and the GSTN (goods and services tax network) should have been put through a trial run.