1. Manmohan Singh’s GST criticism is completely off-track

Manmohan Singh’s GST criticism is completely off-track

The goods and services tax (GST) implemented today is not an ideal one, but it is the best that could be achieved to begin with.

By: | Published: September 20, 2017 5:38 PM
santosh tiwari first take, manmohan singh on gst, gst manmohan singh, narendra modi, narendra modi gst Former PM Manmohan Singh. (PTI)

santosh tiwari first take, manmohan singh on gst, gst manmohan singh, narendra modi, narendra modi gstThe goods and services tax (GST) implemented today is not an ideal one, but it is the best that could be achieved to begin with. The NDA government led by prime minister Narendra Modi must be given the credit for implementing GST and by calling it a hasty move, former prime minister Manmohan Singh is only denting his pro-reform image.

Given the ease with which prime minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government has usurped the initiatives of the Congress-led UPA government by bringing in the required changes and implementing them successfully – Aadhaar and goods and services tax (GST) being among the prominent ones – it is not surprising that the Congress party is now opposing the current government on even these counts.

If the UPA could not implement Aadhaar-based direct benefit transfer scheme, even after projecting it as a game-changer model, and couldn’t capitalize on it in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls – it is the Congress party which should own the responsibility for this. Shouldn’t the party accept that the NDA government has succeeded in pursuing Aadhaar in a manner it should have done?

Ironically, the party appears to be opposing the same reform move, which it perceived as the one which will transform the country, and very rightly so, on some pretext or the other, including the privacy concerns.

Same is the case with the GST. The Congress party could not move forward in implementing the new indirect tax regime across the country, despite projecting it as a reform that will transform the country’s taxation structure. The BJP-led NDA government has succeeded in implementing it despite huge political opposition, including that from the Congress also. Here again, instead of supporting it, the party is now finding faults in the implementation.

Of course, the current GST structure is not an ideal one, but this is the best any government could have achieved with states so concerned about any possible loss to their revenue. The structure needs to be fine-tuned going ahead by reducing the number of tax rates from the current four – 5%,12%, 18% and 28% along with the cess on luxury and sin products – by including the petroleum products and other segments that are currently left out.

While political criticism of the GST structure because of the reality of being in the opposition is understandable, what looks inappropriate is even former prime minister Manmohan Singh calling it a hasty step that has led to an adverse impact on the GDP.

Being at the forefront of reforms in the country, he understands how difficult it is to persuade the states to agree to any measure that may impact their revenue. Isn’t it a better idea to start with a workable GST and then improve it rather than waiting endlessly to implement an ideal one?

In any case, any new tax structure will take time to adjust and hiccups are bound to be there. Who thought that the GST will add to the GDP growth from day one? Improvement in GST needs his support going ahead and it is not prudent on his part to undermine the reform, especially with the kind of economic reform credentials he has.

There may be different opinions about the requirement and efficacy of demonetisation in tackling black money and promoting digital transactions in India, but there is no doubt that reforms like Aadhaar and GST should not be dented in any way just for political gains.

Both are now a reality which every government will have to live with.

  1. B
    ballzstarz
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    1. B
      ballzstarz
      Oct 3, 2017 at 9:09 pm
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      1. B
        ballzstarz
        Oct 3, 2017 at 9:10 pm
        Ballzstarz
    2. ayoob kakkichi thayal
      Sep 21, 2017 at 10:40 am
      What are you trying to justify? I thought that the above story is a economic related. but , sorry this is purely a political note which supports the current government without any factual elements despite of the criticism from even the NDA leaders about the recession of the economy. You would better initially mention that this a pro-Modi article so that i could some of the folk can save their time ignoring this flattering story.
      Reply
      1. A
        amit
        Sep 29, 2017 at 3:52 pm
        Useless panic by calling it recession. 5.4 is not recession, if it were then most of the nations have been recession since their inception. Wake up and get real. Read what the world is saying...hope u consider Morgan Stanley to b wise enough where it comes to Economics...read what they have to say. Chill...the bleep will fade in next 3-4 months..sit back and enjoy the Opposition tamasha.
        Reply
      2. Jayesh Sheth
        Sep 21, 2017 at 7:18 am
        this govt is talking on AIR.and in before 2 days i have already told that as early as possible change in economic policy and sit on reality.Even a prominent economist Subramanyam swami has already told that in todays artical that if govt will not do this even th oday then the time will running out of hand. and difficult for country to come on to the track.And if some knowledgeable person cricise the policy and govt. told that we are doing the best it is not possible and erisonsible statment by different high level minnister should look before giving such statment.
        Reply
        1. N
          Npsingh
          Sep 21, 2017 at 6:54 am
          Dr manmohan singh ji is all right u r dalal media
          Reply
          1. A
            amit
            Sep 29, 2017 at 3:58 pm
            Its shameful when people defend the most corrupt and Shame of a PM like MMS...nonsense of the highest order. Most of the people have just ranted, no factual figures nor any practical logic. Just hating Modi and still enjoying lower Home load rates and lower inflation then DOUBLE DIGIT inflation v all faced under MMS and Sonia is a FACT...go check before u start ranting second hand nonsense. Pity the so called intellectuals BS ing panic when in reality the Indian Eco has embarked on a game changing journey...out of which even ppl like u r benefiting and will benefit in times to come.
            Reply
          2. V
            Verge
            Sep 21, 2017 at 6:15 am
            You need to worry about Modi who is really off track on everything thing. Trying to get some credibility by criticising Dr MMS is the most foolish thing going on under Modi's Blaming Jokers Party.
            Reply
            1. D
              DP
              Sep 21, 2017 at 10:06 am
              Correct Sir.
              Reply
            2. K
              Krish
              Sep 20, 2017 at 9:09 pm
              Many people in the country could not understand the need for such a world renowned economist like Dr. MM Singh to cling to the coat tail of someone who advocates moth eaten ideas and totally consumed by Modi hatred thoughts. At this age, he will be saluted if he is able to give stable and unbiased ideas for the welfare of the country and retire comfortably as a noble Statsman. Will he do it? Krish
              Reply
              1. V
                Verge
                Sep 21, 2017 at 6:19 am
                Its govt of the day to approach. Modi has not done that. Any feedback from people like Dr MMS is b ed as negative only by low IQ party of Modi and his followers.
                Reply
              2. Ramesh B Bhatia
                Sep 20, 2017 at 8:16 pm
                former prime minister Man Mohan Singh is only denting his pro-reform image.. GST has achieved its goal by more business people in net . That is the reason It is hanged. people are unable to reach. file reports. Seeing this massive interest of public Govt has postponed the date till October or may even extend further to find easy solution. Govt must bring down the various slabs of percentage although the present structure looks fine and reasonable. In the beginning Govt wants people to send and Purchase figures only. Now they ask each invoice to be given ? This has created lot of confusion. All are dependent on CA ? 2nd Thing Digitization has created big problem . Banks charging Service charges GST for example if any one deposit more than one lac say 1,16,000/- money they charge 116 GST Rs.136/- ? if same amount is transferred to purchasers acct via NEFT or RTGS they again charge Rs.136/- ? What kind of additional service is given by BANKS? they get ry for what ?
                Reply
                1. K
                  Kirit Shah
                  Sep 20, 2017 at 7:44 pm
                  Manmohan Singh was never an independent leader. He was always following what inner circle of Congress asked him to do. Recently again, Congress is trying to use his Goodwill by putting words in his mouth. Manmohan Singh is allowing himself to be used for politics by Sonia-Rahul party. Manmohan Singh is loosing respect in the eyes of common man.
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                  1. M
                    Manu
                    Sep 20, 2017 at 6:24 pm
                    There should be no gap between envisaging and implementation. Demonetisation, GST and Petrol price revision on daily basis are brilliant ideas on papers but the implementation wasn t anything encouraging. Any policy or change in process should lead to simplification, ease of operation. It seems due diligence was missing while working out the flow chart of both reforms.People would appreciate and understand if govt. takes the responsiblity of lack of implementation in most smooth manner, rather then passing loose comments which make the common men feel cheated.
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                    1. I
                      Indra
                      Sep 20, 2017 at 6:19 pm
                      Will the BJP also take credit of blocking the GST during UPA. Though the congress opposed it.. They did finally agree.. Also it now seems congress suggestion to cap the GST at 18 percent seems reasonable. Only time will tell how successful the GST is but till now whatever indication we have got the current government did not do a good job. Also the author should be a bit cautious before criticizing Dr singh. Because he speaks less but whenever he does it is always with lot of knowledge and wisdom.
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                      1. N
                        Npsingh
                        Sep 21, 2017 at 7:53 am
                        Absolutaly right👍👌
                        Reply
                      2. Harvinder Maini
                        Sep 20, 2017 at 6:03 pm
                        For Modi - Murge ki teen tang. It is his habit to deny his every failure.
                        Reply
                        1. R
                          Ram
                          Sep 20, 2017 at 5:44 pm
                          When former PM Dr.MMS speaks, one has to read the words. He said hasty implementation, does not mean anything, except that the preparatory work has not been done. Why are so many glitches being reported in the GSTN, forms are missing, auditors are unable to answer questions on the act, was so much centralization required ? We need to see the remarks in context, and not read it out of context. Demonetization has been proven as botched by RBI release, GST implementation will also prove to be a botched one - repercussions will be severe. Already GDP growth is down to 5.7 , employment generation is in a standstill, exporters are crying foul for release of working capital and exporters are badly hurting.
                          Reply
                          1. Tushar Kanta
                            Sep 20, 2017 at 8:29 pm
                            There are no forms missing now. My father has already submitted the GSTR 3B and GSTR 1 return for his organisation. Small things are being made to look big here.
                            Reply
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                              amit
                              Sep 29, 2017 at 5:39 pm
                              Go check the parameters which u so confidently trying to quote, u will b embarrassed of what u r pushing as Second Hand nonsense. If MMS operated by Sonia was so CAPABLE then why the he didnt do anything worthwhile on GST? The format of GST he was pushing was bound to b a disaster and thats why the Opp at that time opposed it. Remember, A Knife in the hands of a Thug is a weapon and the same Knife in the hands of a Chef is a tool...its just what the Person in Charge Capable of. History will explain this to people like u over a period of time...so sit back and enjoy the benefits which will still come to you coz this new Govt is working just Fabulously.
                              Reply
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