Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Photo Credit: File/PTI)
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday admitted that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) passed by the Narendra Modi government during its first tenure has flaws but stressed that it is a “kanoon of the country” and that it can’t be damned now but only improved. During an interaction with businessmen, entrepreneurs, CAs and other people in Maharashtra’s Pune, Sitharaman was asked to implement some changes in the GST framework, saying that everybody is “cursing” the government for it. To this, the finance minister said even though people are facing the problems due to the GST framework but they need to own it up.
“We can't just damn it. It's been passed in Parliament and every state Assembly. It might have its flows, it might have been giving you difficulties, but I am sorry it’s a ‘kanoon’ (law) of the country now. I would appeal to you all to work together and make sure we have a better (GST) framework if it’s giving problems now,” the finance minister said.
The Narendra Modi government has been facing criticism ever since it passed the Goods and Services Tax. The Opposition parties have been claiming that the government passed the bill in a hurry without developing the proper infrastructure.
While Congress president Rahul Gandhi called GST – ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’, noted economist and former prime minister Manmohan Singh claimed that it is the implementation of faulty GST and demonetisation that has hurt the economy. Singh also suggested rationalisation of the GST even if it leads to loss in revenue in the short term.
Interestingly, before coming to power, the BJP had the similar stand on the GST when Congress-led UPA government was trying to implement it. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, under whose tenure the GST was rolled out, used to oppose it with the same demand of developing a proper infrastructure first.
Listen in to what Nirmala Sithraman has said on GST:
#WATCH Finance Min during interaction with businessmen,entrepreneurs,CAs&others in Pune:We just can't damn GST now. It has been passed in Parliament&in state assemblies. It might have flaws,it might probably give you difficulties but I'm sorry,it's the 'kanoon' of the country now pic.twitter.com/tAPcQmHh5H— ANI (@ANI) October 11, 2019