Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday said a country of India’s size cannot afford the “adventure” of having multiple taxes and there is “inevitably some dislocation” when people move into a new system such as the GST. The Housing and Urban Affairs Minister said the “dislocation” should be seen against the “permanent long-term tangible benefits” of GST.
“A country of India’s size cannot afford the adventure of having multiple rates in different states with different kinds of octroi etc. A large country like India has to have single, unified rates,” he said while addressing an Assocham event in New Delhi.
Stressing that the GST was an “overdue decision”, the minister said he has “absolutely no doubt” that people will “appreciate the very positive and beneficial effect” of the tax reform. “There is inevitably some dislocation when you try and move people into a new system. There is also dislocation because some people are not used to the idea of giving taxes,” he said.
The comments came in the background of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s attack on the government over note ban and GST in poll-bound Gujarat.
Gandhi had said though the Congress requested the government to keep only one tax rate under the GST, it introduced five different slabs. He claimed lakhs of businesses have been shut due to GST.