Former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram slammed the new tax regime on Thursday saying what has been rolled out is a mockery of GST. In a statement to the media, Chidambaram said: “Aim was that one indirect tax will subsume all other indirect taxes, this GST fails to achieve that. We demand that real estate, electricity and petroleum products be brought under GST.”
Stating that GST should have been delayed by two months, the senior Congress leader said the new tax regime should have undergone a dry run before implementation. Chidambaram has been one of the most vocal critics of the Goods and Services Tax, which was rolled out from July 1. “When we have rates like 0.25, 3, 5, 12, 18, 28 and 40, “When we have rates like 0.25, 3, 5, 12, 18, 28 and 40, and possibly more because of the discretion vested with state governments, how can we call this a ‘one nation, one tax’ regime?” he asked. Also Read: Chidambaram: Hastily implemented, GST will trigger inflation
Chidambaram said the Congress would continue to watch the roll-out of GST and articulate the fears and grievances of small and medium size and multi-state businesses and consumers. “We will keep vigil over the possible misuse of the draconian powers given to anti-profiteering authority. We will highlight the elements of the true GST.”
In fact, Chidambaram had only a few days back said that the GST will lead to inflation and asked what precautions the government has taken to contain that. He said the GST will put a heavy burden on the common man, as 80 per cent of all goods and services will bear higher taxes and prices. He even termed GST as a ‘bad legislation’, saying what has been implemented now is neither the real GST that the Congress had designed, nor is it the ideal GST devised by experts.
(With PTI inputs)