Congress party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi strongly criticised the Modi Government today for duplicity and doublespeak on the GST in a press conference today.
Mr Singhvi was referring to the recent announcement by the PM Narendra Modi that his government was working to bring 99% of the items under the 18% GST slab. His moot point was that while BJP made fun of the Congress for making the demand earlier, it conveniently chose to comply after its defeat in the recently held assembly elections in 5 states.
He referred to past statements by the Congress President Rahul Gandhi stating that the GST under Modi government was 1 nation, 7 taxes instead of 1 nation, 1 tax. The Congress party had also demanded an upper limit of 18% in GST rates. Singhvi also criticised the PM for ignoring his Chief Economic Adviser who had said that 15-15.5% is a revenue neutral rate. He also referred to the PM criticizing Rahul Gandhi’s proposal as a ‘Grand Stupid Thought’ during the Gujarat campaign and the FM declaring that a single tax slab was only feasible in a country like Singapore where the “entire population had a similar and higher level paying capacity”.
Furthermore, Singhvi alleged that the economy had been badly damaged by the ‘Tughlaqi’ government under Narendra Modi. He referred to data by the All India Manufacturers’ Organisation that says that with the impact of GST and Demo, operational profits of traders have fallen by 70% since 2014. Job losses stood at 43% in the trader segment, 32% in the micro segment, 35% in the small segment and 24% in the medium segment (broadly the MSME segment).
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