What Exactly Is Wrong with India’s Goods and Services Tax?

Special Webpage on Goods and Services Tax
Special Webpage on Goods and Services Tax

In today’s increasingly specialized and cut-throat world, a person needs in-depth knowledge and extensive domain expertise to handle a particular department even in a small company. But it is highly unfortunate that people with no qualification or expertise become Prime Ministers, ministers, and bureaucrats in India to manage highly complex domains of governance. That’s why India continues to be a poor, underdeveloped country. ~ Rakesh Raman

The Goods and Services Tax Council (GST Council), chaired by India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, is supposed to discuss today a possible relief package for the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

It is said that since Jaitley has no knowledge of the finance field, he has destroyed the Indian economy in the past over 3 years of the current government.

According to Congress, the government discussion is happening because of constant criticism by the Congress led by the party’s Vice President Rahul Gandhi.

Simultaneous protests by exporters and small businesses have also put the government on the backfoot. Under intense pressure, according to Congress, PM Narendra Modi is coming out of the denial mode.

This was reflected in a high-level meeting called by the PM on Friday evening to discuss the rampant economic meltdown. Even BJP President Amit Shah was called back from his rabble-rousing Kerala trip mid-way, Congress said.

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The planned relief package is said to ease the burdensome tax compliance of the current law. However, one remains skeptical about the degree of relief that will be provided to the small traders, owing to the history of previous meetings of the GST Council.

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The GST Council meeting comes a day after PM Modi tried defending the BJP’s track record of managing economic policy.

“Both demonetisation and the implementation of GST were ‘structural reforms’ but that if any sector needs temporary assistance on account of these, the government would provide it,” he said.

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Modi’s comment came after the complete economic narrative had turned against the one crafted by his government. Unfortunately, contrary to the comments of Modi, the criticism was backed by aggregate macroeconomic data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and is reflective of elementary defects in the design and implementation of the GST law and no amount of temporary relief packages can solve that, Congress warned.

The party added that the implementation of the GST law is riddled with fundamental flaws which require a total overhaul of the policy and not temporary adjustments.

Rahul Gandhi had accused the government of crushing small business with a complicated process. This belated so-called course correction by the government comes against the same backdrop is too little, and too late, Congress said Friday.

Plagued with structural irregularities, the premier tax law has failed, leaving the economy in misery. As a result, PM Modi and his entourage are left in a state of panic, trying to save face somehow, Congress said.

Photo courtesy: Press Information Bureau

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Rakesh Raman