Criticising Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over the “ad hoc” implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST), senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Tuesday said that Jaitley who has been elected to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat is a “burden” on the people of the state.
“I want to tell you that I do not consider the finance minister a Gujarati,” said Sinha while interacting with media persons about demonetisation and GST on Tuesday. Sinha is currently on a tour of Gujarat and is expected to speak at public forums in Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Vadodara.
When pointed out that Jaitley has been elected to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat, Sinha said, “He might have been elected from Gujarat, but he is a burden on you. If he had not been elected from here, then a Gujarati would have got a chance in the Rajya Sabha.” Jaitley has been elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2012 and is one of the 11 Rajya Sabha MPs representing Gujarat. Jaitley had contested the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 from Punjab but had lost.
Hitting out at the finance minister for the “ad hoc” manner in which changes are being done to GST, Sinha said that the Jaitley is responsible for all the “anomalies” in the GST. “The finance minister believes in the principle: Heads I win, Tails you lose… He cannot take credit for imposing on the country a deeply flawed tax system. The country and the people of the country are well within their rights to demand that he should lose his job,” the BJP leader added.
When asked that Gujarat had opposed the implementation of GST when Narendra Modi was the chief minister of the state, Sinha said that it is on record in the parliamentary proceedings that the then state finance minister Saurabh Patel who had represented Gujarat had opposed the taxation system saying that Gujarat stands to lose Rs 9000 crore with its implementation.
He also criticised the decision of demonetisation. “700 years ago a shehanshah did demonetisation. His name was Mohammed-bin-Tuglaq,” said Sinha.