New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday reminded Prime Minister Modi that these were the very words he used on November 29 last year during the Gujarat election campaign while lampooning Rahul Gandhi’s demand for a uniform GST rate of 18% or less. Electoral defeat in three states has forced him to invoke the same stupid thought and he has promised to tax 99% items at 18% or less, Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi told a press conference here.
But what had forced Modi, an acronym expert, to concede this very demand of the Congress President? What was responsible for this stupendous reversal and rollback, Singhvi asked, recounting Modi’s assertion in July this year that “milk and Mercedes can’t be taxed at a single GST rate.”His stop-gap finance minister Piyush Goyal had also stated in July that the demand for a single rate of GST was a “ridiculous suggestion,” Singhvi said, reminding him that “the same government, which he represents, had at midnight on June 30, 2017, launched GST and hailed it as advent of one nation, one tax, one market.”
He also noted how Arun Jaitley wrote on July 1, the first anniversary of GST, that Rahul’s advocacy of a single slab of GST is a “flawed idea,” as it can work only in countries having higher levels of paying capacity.”We want to ask Arun Jaitley, what changed in the past five months, that now the Modi government is forced to adopt the ‘flawed idea’ of single tax rate? Was it the absolute drubbing they received at the hands of the electorate in five states or is it something else,” he asked.
He said “doublespeak, duplicity and dishonesty of PM Modi and FM Jaitley are now out in the open,” asserting that “Modi-nomics” is “the art of backstabbing people with flawed economic decisions, ruining their livelihood with unwitting announcements, stealing their jobs with economic mismanagement and forcing the small businesses to shut down by unleashing economic anarchy.”
Meanwhile, Congress leader P Chidambaram Wed-nesday said “belated wisdom” has dawned on the Modi government, as he accused it of “unscrambling” the egg after having “scrambled the egg needlessly when GST was introduced”. “Government says 99% of goods will be taxed at 18 per cent GST. Belated wisdom. We should have started with 18 per cent as the standard rate.”Having scrambled the egg needlessly when GST was introduced, the Government is trying to unscramble it! Typical of NDA. “The BJP/NDA governance mantra is ‘Leap before you look’. Which is the reason for the damage caused by GST to businesses, especially MSMEs,” he said on Twitter.
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