The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014, introduced by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley in Lok Sabha to facilitate rolling out of the goods and services tax (GST) regime may have been billed as the biggest tax reform measure since 1947, but it was riddled with intrinsic flaws and may have an adverse effect on the finances and economy of Haryana, leader of the Congress Legislature Party in Haryana, Kiran Choudhry said on Monday.
Stating that the measure was conspicuously silent on the levy on foodgrains, she said the Congress would want to know from Jaitley whether the levy on foodgrains had been subsumed in GST? "I, as excise and taxation minister, kept pressing more than four years that it should not be subsumed. And, if it has been, what inbuilt mechanism has been put in place in the measure to compensate the states for the loss, especially Haryana, which would be among the biggest sufferers," she said.
Jaitley seemed to take credit for the bill introduced after more than four years of prolonged consultations with states, she said, adding that the negotiations were conducted mainly by the UPA government, not by the NDA.
The measure proposed to include petroleum and octroi in GST while providing for a five-year compensation for any possible loss of revenue, she said, adding that the petroleum products would not be subject to the levy of GST till the GST council took a call on the issue.
"That in the interim, both the Centre and states would continue to impose their respective taxes on petroleum products, would impose unbearable burden on the common man. We welcome the good measure but won't allow the interest of Haryana compromised at any cost," she added.