Opposition must be constructive and stop whining over GST implementation

The opposition parties must stop whining over the Goods and Services Tax implementation because they have been part of the process through the GST Council. The Congress especially has not been resist playing politics, with its first its president Rahul Gandhi calling it Gabbar Singh Tax and now former Finance Minister and senior party leader terming it as RSS Tax.

Just what they mean is unclear. True, there have been glitches in the implementation on the ground, but that was to be expected given that such a massive indirect tax reform had been attempted for the first time in independent India’s history. But it’s also a fact that many of these glitches have been tackled and others are been addressed.

The Congress has been lamenting that the taxation rates are unfair and that multiple tax slabs have complicated the GST. But then multiple tax rates are inevitable; after all, essential items and luxury cars cannot possibly be taxed at the same rate. Besides, many products have been since the GST was rolled out a year ago, have been shifted to lower tax slabs. Also, the tweaking is not over; the Union Government has indicated on more than one occasion that further changes to benefit the economy and the consumer will be undertaken. But the opposition parties refuse to let go because they believe the GST is a good stick to beat the Modi Government with. Unfortunately, they fail, deliberately, to see the big picture — which is that the ‘one nation, one tax’ concept was the need of the hour and has vastly simplified the indirect taxation regime. The Congress’s tendency to drag in the RSS into every aspect of governance is getting to be sickening.

The GST collections over the past months tell an encouraging story. In June alone, Rs 95,610 crore was netted through GST nationwide. The Government is confident of crossing the one lakh crore mark soon, and over this financial year it hopes to get nearly Rs 13 lakh crore. This is not a small sum and it can boost social sector spending, something which the Government is intent upon, more so given that we are approaching the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Opposition parties forget in their over-zeal to pin the blame on the incumbent regime in New Delhi that they are equal partners in the GST implementation through the deliberations of the GST Council.

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