GST rollout, launch in India: The Congress had yesterday decided to keep away from the special midnight June 30 meeting convened by the government on GST implementation. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today said his party was not opposed to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), but against its usage as a “propaganda tool”. Stating that after independence, only three mid-night events have been organised in the Parliament’s central hall, i.e. when India got freedom, to celebrate 25 years of independence and thirdly, to mark 50 years of independence– he questioned the need for organising a similar event for GST. “…they are doing it for propaganda. We are not against GST, but the way they are doing it,” he told reporters here.
Noting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Gujarat chief minister had opposed GST, Siddaramaiah said, “By organising a midnight event, they are now projecting as though they are bringing in a great economic reform in the country.” It was the Congress-led UPA government that had proposed GST, he said.
Responding to a question on GST’s impact on tax revenues and the state’s exchequer, the chief minister said, “There are apprehensions that it may get lowered, but it has been decided in the GST council that losses incurred have to be borne by the Central government upto five years.” According to state government officials, about six lakh traders and firms in Karnataka have registered for GST regime so far.