New Delhi: Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday criticised the Centre for failing to effectively implement the Goods and Service Tax (GST) in India in 2017.
Taking to Twitter, Chidambaram was of the view that the 28 per cent tax slab under the new tax regime has only added the Excise, VAT, and CST. “The 28% GST rate was the contribution of a lazy BJP government that simply added the Excise, VAT, and CST,” the former finance minister wrote. Further taking a dig at the Narendra Modi-led government, Chidambaram said that the Central government deliberately did not take a note of the report filed by the Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) and also dismissed Opposition’s plea to cap GST rate at 18 per cent. “BJP government brushed aside the report of the CEA and summarily dismissed our plea to cap GST rate at 18%. Now it claims wisdom in phasing our the 28% rate!,” added Chidambaram. The former finance minister also said that scores of small and medium-sized enterprises have been shattered because of the high interest rates under GST.
“Following demonetisation, the faulty implementation of GST destroyed thousands of SMEs and millions of jobs. Ask any trader or businessperson and you will know the truth. The 28% rate (and the cesses) was only one aspect of the faulty implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST). There are other distortions that have given GST a bad name,” said the Congress leader. The GST was rolled out in July last year after months of deliberation. Launched at midnight on June 30 by Prime Minister Modi and then President Pranab Mukherjee, the taxation scheme aimed at bringing all taxes into a single window along the lines of the ‘One Nation – One Tax – One Market goal.