Chidambaram: GST is an RSS tax that has become a bad word

Jul 02, 2018, 10:37 IST | Agencies

On first anniversary of GST, Chidambaram says it has increased the tax burden

Chidambaram: GST is an RSS tax that has become a bad word
Former finance minister P Chidambaram addresses the media about completion of one year of GST, in New Delhi, on Sunday. Pic/PTI

Former finance minister P Chidambaram came out all guns blazing against the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime on its first anniversary, terming it an "RSS tax" that had led to an increase in tax burden and become a "bad word" among people. The senior Congress leader said it is a "very different animal and not a true GST".

"GST means one tax rate only. If (it has) multiple rates, call it 'RSS tax'... It is an undeniable fact that GST has not yet had a positive impact on economic growth," Chidambaram told the media at the party's office. "The design, structure, infrastructure backbone, rate or rates and implementation of the GST were so flawed that it has become a bad word among business persons, traders, exporters and the common citizens," he said.

The only section that appears to be happy about the GST is the tax administration that has acquired "extraordinary powers that frighten" the average businessperson and the common citizen, he said.

"It is widely perceived that GST has increased the tax burden of the common citizen," he said. Every step taken by the BJP government with regard to the tax was deeply flawed, he alleged.

Chidambaram claimed that the government even ignored the advice of the chief economic adviser on many aspects of the GST. Underlining that the Congress was the original proponent of the GST and it was first proposed by the UPA in 2006, he said experts should be given a free hand in overhauling the indirect tax structure.

'Cong will remove anomalies in GST'
Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar lashed out at the BJP for "killing" businesses by implementing a "faulty design" GST. Jakhar said the Congress would remove "all anomalies" from the GST after coming to power in 2019.

'GST collections rise to Rs 95,610 crore' 
The GST revenue mop-up rose to Rs 95,610 crore in June from Rs 94,016 crore in the previous month, Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said on Sunday. In April 2018, the collections from GST were over Rs 1.03 lakh crore.

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