Unfazed by the government’s attack over GST, Congresstoday charged BJP with trying to create confusion on the issue to “hide government’s economic failure”, and said it was happy that the ruling party now finds the measure useful after opposing it for years.
“We are happy that Arun Jaitley now finds GST (to be) of public interest after years of opposition by the BJP,” party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters soon after the Finance Minister’s attack on the party for “stalling” the bill in the Rajya Sabha.
Singhvi said that the GST Bill was delayed for seven long years due to “obduracy and obstinacy” of BJP while it was in opposition. And the main opposition to the measure at that time came from Gujarat under Narendra Modi’s chief ministership, he said.
Claiming that growth has declined in various sectors since the Narendra Modi government took over, Singhvi charged BJP with attempting to create confusion on the GST issue and “hiding government’s economic failure”.
“Be it capital goods or consumer goods, the growth has declined under the BJP government and this is the reality of ‘Make-In-India’,” the Congress leader said.
Insisting that the Congress was also for GST, Singhvi said that the government attempted to bring the measure for consideration of Parliament without any discussion in the Business Advisory Committee.
Noting that the Congress has reservations over some provisions in the bill, he said that even the government’s Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian considers this proposed 1 per cent additional tax as retrograde and against the ‘Make in India’ concept.
He said the Congress objection is that there should be limit of 15 per cent or 18 per cent for the overall tax so as to ensure that Indian economy remained globally competitive.
Singhvi said that due to Congress’ opposition the government had to change some provisions in the proposed bill for the benefit of states, which would be compensated 100 per cent by the Centre in case they suffer losses when GST is implemented. “This is a major victory for Congress,” he added.