NEW DELHI: Though deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Monday welcomed Good and Services Tax (GST) as a “big decision and a good concept”, he warned that the information shared on execution was “bookish for now” and the real test would come only when it rolls out in July.
Sisodia alleged that the GST Council’s decision to keep out liquor, land and real estate out of the purview of the tax regime “smacked of a conspiracy”. He claimed that this was done because many politicians have interests in real estate. He also attacked the Centre saying that the real estate market is known to be a hotbed for black money. If it is kept out of GST then how can the government say it is fighting against black money?
The deputy CM said this at an orientation for MLAs, before the special session of Delhi assembly is held on May 31 to discuss and approve the State Goods and Services Tax Bill. The chief economic advisor (CEA) to government of India, Arvind Subramanian, was also invited to explain the impact of the new tax regime on traders, services and consumers.
The meeting took a political turn when speaker Ram Niwas Goel saw a “conspiracy” in real estate and alcohol being kept out of GST purview. “I feel the liquor and real estate lobby have managed to get their way,” he said.
As MLAs rose to ask questions related to manufacturing, small time traders and merger of existing taxes, Sisodia summed up by saying, “Problems will come and answers will have to be found as we put GST to test, hopefully from July 1.”