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Serious “birth defects” in the GST: Congress

Commenting on the five years of the GST, former finance minister P Chidambaram said, “In the last five years the defects of the GST have only become worse and all those touched by the GST have been seriously injured.”

Anjali Bhatia | New Delhi |

Pointing out serious “birth defects” in the GST, the Congress, on Friday, said it has only become worse over the last five years. The party contended that the Goods and Services Tax rules and the manner of their implementation have “wrecked the economy”.

The Congress said demonetisation was the first “Tughlaqi farman” of the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre. The Goods and Service Tax was the second such move that dealt a body blow to the economy.

Commenting on the five years of the GST, former finance minister P Chidambaram said, “In the last five years the defects of the GST have only become worse and all those touched by the GST have been seriously injured.”

The Congress, he said seeks to make it absolutely clear that the so-called GST that is in force today was not the GST that was envisaged by us (the Congress-led UPA government).

“The GST that we have today is a complex web of many rates, conditions, exceptions, and exemptions that will leave even an informed taxpayer completely bewildered. Not all registered dealers are informed taxpayers; as a result, they are at the mercy of the tax collector,” he said.

A flawed GST has led to “large-scale destruction” of MSMEs, a sector that contributes up to 90 percent of the jobs in the manufacturing sector, he said.