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14 November 2017, 09:20 | Hattie Nash
Arun Jaitley denied the GST rates were lowered after pressure from the Congress
He said the rationalisation of the Goods and Services Tax rates had been "in the works" for three to four months. "When others call for it, it is childish, when he says it so very mature", said Sinha.
Sinha said one major flaw of the GST was that 40% of the revenue stream was out of GST.
Chewing gum, chocolates, coffee, custard powder, marble and granite, dental hygiene products, polishes and creams, sanitary ware, leather clothing, artificial fur, wigs, cookers, stoves, after-shave, deodorant, detergent and washing power, razors and blades, cutlery, storage water heater, batteries, goggles, wrist watches and mattress are among the products on which tax rate has been cut from 28 per cent to 18 per cent. "If we bring these under GST, people of India will get relief", he said.
To a question on India improving its ranking in the ease of doing business index, Sinha said it was a thing for Indians to be proud of.
"But the problem is that whenever the world praises us we accept it but the moment we are criticised we disown it".
Notebandi (demonetization) has failed as its objective was not fulfilled. Sinha said, "The new GST, as a simple tax system, should be ready by the time the next budget is introduced in February 2018", adding, "It should do away with adhocism".
While speaking of the GST, Sinha said that it was a good thought, but the implementation and final structure had led to more problems.
To a question on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley terming Rahul Gandhi's demand of GST in one single slab as "childish", Sinha said: "Jaitley himself had at some point in history said that GST needed a single tax rate".
Jaitley, he added, has made a mess of GST. "Our finance minister is not from Gujarat, as he was elected to Rajya Sabha from here". Pointing out that India's manufacturing growth rate is just about 4%, highly insufficient for the country's economy to do well, Sinha said, "If the economy has to grow at a healthy pace, the manufacturing growth rate should be in the double digit". "I am not part of any mandal, especially margdarshak mandal", he said. The Gujarat Finance Minister during the meetings of the GST during the UPA government had vehemently opposed it, while the present NDA government while launching it termed GST as the biggest reform the country has ever seen.
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