New Delhi: Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Friday called the midnight launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) “a self-promotional spectacle” of the Modi government, and said the pan-India tax regime was being rushed through in a half-baked way and executed by “an incompetent and insensitive government”.
“A reform that holds great potential is being rushed through in a half-baked way with a self-promotional spectacle #GSTTamasha,” said Gandhi on Twitter.
“India deserves a GST rollout that does not put crores of its ordinary citizens, small businesses and traders through tremendous pain and anxiety,” he added.
Gandhi also said: “Unlike demonetisation, GST is a reform that Congress has championed and backed from the beginning.
“But like demonetisation, GST is being executed by an incompetent and insensitive government without planning foresight and institutional readiness,” he said.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the BJP’s cumbersome GST with five-tier tax structure (5 to 43 per cent) would hit at the livelihood of shopkeepers, traders and small business.
“BJP government has imposed ‘highest ever GST rate in the world’, unlike UPA’s GST which put a cap of 18 per cent. No country has such high rates,” said Surjewala on Twitter.
“Complicated and compliance cost burden defines BJP’s GST. Each taxpayer to file 37 returns per year. In 36 states, it will be 1,224 returns,” he added.
Surjewala also said the “spirit of GST bill of Congress was -‘single, simple, transparent, uncomplicated tax and reducing inflation’. Present GST is just the opposite.”
“BJP’s GST marred by IT unpreparedness. Tender for GST Network floated on June 15 with test period of August 2017-July 2018. PM remembers?” asked Surjewala.
“Roti, Kapda and Makaan will be hit by BJP’s GST. GST on goods of mass consumption will hit the poor and middle class. It will be one more body blow to India’s farmers and agricultural sector by excessive taxation,” he added.
“BJP imposes GST of 18 per cent on manmade fibre. It hits textile sector- micro and small manufacturers, traders, shopkeepers and helps big businesses,” he added.