Disagreeing with P Chidambaram’s view that indirect tax reforms are “regressive”, Rajeev Chandrasekhar an independent Rajya Sabha MP today said, “Indirect taxes form the backbone of our economic model. Reforming and simplifying the indirect taxes becomes very important in that aspect.” Supporting the swift passage and implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, Chandrasekhar said, “GST is without any doubt a significant reform. It will create more jobs, create a wider choice of products, and ensure less corruption and red tape. The benefits of of creating a common market are well known.”
GST is a consumer and business friendly tax reform, Chandrasekhar said. “GST will significantly bring benefits to consumers and producers. With reduced taxes and costs, there will also be a wider tax base. This will increase revenue flow to the government ensuring that more money is available for spending on social welfare.” Not agreeing with Chidambaram on the need for capping GST’s standard rate at 18%, Chandrasekhar said, “When the whole objective of GST is pro-consumer, any concerns on rates are misplaced.” “I am also mystified about the recent cry that the GST bill is imperfect. A less than perfect GST is better than no GST,” he added.
Stating that the first deadline of April 1, 2016 for implementation GST has already been missed, he said, “The political football of the last three sessions has resulted in the deadline being missed. Let’s not miss the April 1, 2017 deadline now.” “This year we mark the 25 years of economic liberalisation. It is our choice, where does our future lie? There is much work that needs to be done in reforming tax administration. We stand ready to take the first step in these reforms by bringing in GST,” Chandrasekhar concluded.