GST is an attack on India’s poor, says Rahul Gandhi

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The new Farm laws are a “stab in the farmers’ hearts” and they should be opposed for the country’s future. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. File photo.

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said the NDA’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) is not a tax system, but an “attack” on India’s poor and small and medium businesses. He urged all to stand against it.

Dubbing the GST as “Gabbar Singh Tax”, Gandhi said, “It is the second major attack on India’s unorganised economy. It is an absolute failure”. Earlier he had said demonetisation was the first attack on the informal sector in the economy.

As part of his video series on the economy, the former Congress president alleged that the NDA government has kept four different tax slabs to help those big industrialists with means and contacts to change the taxes under the GST regime. “This GST is an absolute failure. It is an attack on the poor and on the small and medium businesses,” he said.

“GST is not a tax system; it is an attack on India’s poor. It is an attack on small shopkeepers, small and medium businesses, farmers and labourers. So, we should recognise this attack and stand against it together,” he said while sharing the video on Twitter.

Gandhi said, “Another major reason for the historic decline in GDP is the GST of the Modi government. It has destroyed lakhs of small businesses, crores of jobs, the future of youth and the financial health of states. GST means economic devastation.” This is the third of the four-part series by him on the economy.

Stepped up attack on Modi government

Rahul Gandhi and the Congress have stepped up their attack on the Modi government over the state of the economy after India’s economic growth suffered its worst fall on record in the April-June quarter, with the gross domestic product (GDP) contracting 23.9 percent.

He claimed that the GST was UPA’s idea, which meant, “One tax, minimal tax, standard and simple tax”. “NDA’s GST is completely different. Four different tax slabs, up to 28 percent, complicated and difficult to understand,” he alleged.

The Congress leader said that the small and medium businesses cannot pay this tax, whereas the big companies can easily pay it by employing a few accountants to do the job. ”Why are there four different rates? This is because the government wants those who have the means to be able to easily change GST, and those who don’t have means, cannot do anything about GST. “Who has the means? India’s biggest 15-20 industrialists. So, whatever tax law they want to change can easily be done in this GST regime,” he alleged.

Gandhi said today, the Government of India is unable to provide the GST compensation money to the states. The states are unable to give money to state employees and teachers, he said.

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