New Delhi : Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Saturday said the GST was ‘goodbye to simple tax’ and not a ‘good and simple tax’ as described by the prime minister, stressing that it was good for the government and bad for the common man.
He said the advent of the GST had hit business hard, and small and medium traders across the country were facing harassment.
“The Prime Minister said this is a good and simple tax, our take on that is that it is a goodbye to a simple tax. The idea behind the GST is to have a simple tax which the UPA government also wanted. Here it is good for government and bad for the simple man,” Sibal told reporters.
Training his guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, “Whenever this government has taken a big step that changes the basic economic structure of the country, the people are upset and the prime minister travels abroad.”
Sibal claimed “the launch of a multilateral GST was for the rich, by the rich and of the rich” and was against the interests of the poor and small traders who were facing anxious times due to unpreparedness of the government.
He said the Congress would press for the GST legislation as earlier envisaged by it and that will happen when its government comes to power at the Centre.
The former Union minister said the GST was not a one-nation-one-tax regime. He said it was painful that the state governments were entitled to levy municipal tax over and above the GST, as had happened in Tamil Nadu in the case of cinemas which was the only entertainment for the common man.
He also talked about Maharashtra imposing a 2 per cent tax on registration of new cars. Citing a media report, he said private investment in India today was the lowest since 1992 according to the data of 1,000 non-financial firms. “This is because of the economic situation which has brought the private sector to its knees and sapped the wherewithal to make that investment. They have taken data of 1,000 non financial private sector firms.