Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said today that the midnight GST launch event in Parliament was “not in good taste”. “While GST (Goods and Services Tax) is an important step towards reforming the tax system in the country, the hyped midnight celebration was uncalled for and not in good taste,” he said in a Facebook post. He stressed the need to allay the fears of people over the GST and the necessity to make sure that companies comply with the anti-profiteering clause. He also wanted steps to ensure that benefits are transferred to the ordinary citizens. “Midnight celebration??? We still need to conduct many ‘DAY-LONG’ public awareness campaigns about #GST, simplifying it for common public and address doubts of small traders,” he said.
The transition can be disruptive for many small and medium businesses in the country, he said, adding that many experts have questioned the reliability of the software powering the system.Vijayan also described the Indian GST as “a product of a long political process” in which states and Union territories relinquished their right to impose the sales tax on goods and the Centre gave up its right to impose excise and services taxes. He also said that in all deliberations for the GST, Kerala had stood its ground to uphold the spirit of federalism enshrined in the Constitution. “The Kerala government welcomes the implementation of GST and has tried its best to protect the interest of the state. The state is expecting a growth in tax revenue by 20 per cent,” the chief minister added.
Meanwhile, state BJP president Kummanam Rajasekharan said that the Congress and Left parties had kept away from the GST launch event due to “political blindness”. “The GST is a historic step towards the economic reformation in the country. The boycott of the Congress and the Left from the launch function was unfortunate,” he said.