Days after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s Gabbar Singh Tax jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday coined a stinging acronym for Goods and Services Tax (GST). In a hard-hitting tweet she termed GST as Great Selfish Tax and claimed the move was aimed at harassing the people, taking away jobs, hurting businesses and finishing the economy. The central government has failed to tackle the recently implemented pan-India tax regime, the Trinamool Congress supremo said. Banerjee, who has been vociferous against PM Modi’s decisions and moves, had earlier dubbed demonetisation as the biggest disaster and GST ‘a great stunt’.
Earlier in October, stepping up his attack against the government over GST, Gandhi had taken the Gabbar Singh analogy further by referencing the Bollywood villain’s dialogue to say it was a tax that coveted people’s earnings. “Congress GST = Genuine Simple Tax. Modi ji’s GST = Gabbar Singh Tax = yeh kamaai mujhe de de (give me the income),” Gandhi said on Twitter. Gabbar Singh was the name of a fictional dacoit in the Ramesh Sippy-directed 1975 Bollywood blockbuster Sholay.
On November 4, promising more measures to ease problems faced by small businesses due to GST, PM Modi had said a committee of state ministers has accepted most of the suggestions made by them and an announcement is likely in the GST Council meeting next week.
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The GST Council had announced several measures to ease problems faced by businesses last month. The next meeting of the Council headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state finance ministers is scheduled to be held on November 9 and 10 in Guwahati.