Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday said that the Good and Services Tax (GST) should not have been implemented in a hurry, and the involvement of private companies in the GSTN is leading to harassment, just a few days after he came down heavily on the Narendra Modi government for not taking necessary steps to revive the slow economic growth.
“GST not something that should have been implemented in a hurry. I have received a lot of complaints of harassment under the GST. The government should not have involved private companies in the GSTN,” Subramanian Swamy told CNBC-TV18.
He further hit out at the government on the GSTN saying that it was “far behind schedule”. The GST Network (GSTN) is running into snags due to the rush of filing invoices. The taxpayers are also learned to have troubles understanding exact tax liabilities and processes required to file their returns.
Besides filing of the GST returns, exporters fear that if the refund of about Rs 65,000 crore does not start flowing immediately, it would get stuck and, further deteriorate their liquidity situation. Interestingly, adding to their woes, while the government has committed to refunding Rs 12,000 crore at the earliest, the remaining amount of claims remain under scrutiny.
Subramanian Swamy, who claims to have written a 16-page letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi warning him about the slowing economic growth in last May, had earlier said that the Indian economy was in a tailspin and heading for a depression. He even suggested new ways to revive the economic growth by abolishing the personal income tax, lowering the interest rates et al.
Subramanian Swamy, who was a lone wolf so far in criticising the government for the economic policies, was joined by senior BJP leader and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha on Wednesday. Yashwant Sinha, in an article titled ‘I need to speak up now’ in The Indian Express, attacked the government on the demonetisation exercise, which, according to him, proved to be an “unmitigated economic disaster”, and the implementation of the GST which was a “badly conceived and poorly implemented” havoc.
However, the government seems to be in damage control mode. On Monday, Narendra Modi formed an Economic Advisory Council under the chairmanship of NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy to address the issues of macroeconomic importance, and analyse and advise the Prime Minister on any issue, economic or otherwise, referred by him.
Meanwhile, the GST collection for August came in at Rs 90,669 crore as on Tuesday, down by 3.7% compared with Rs 94,063 crore garnered for July.