Narendra Modi interview: Prime Minister Modi on Sunday, during an interview to Times Now spoke on Opposition terming goods and services tax (GST) as ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’. Notably, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had used the term to indicate how unfair the GST version of the NDA governemnt is. In a wide-ranging hour-long interview, PM said, “GST jo bhi hai; if good, it is everyone’s, if it is a failure it is also everyone’s. It does not belong to one government. A number of governments and political parties have contributed to its creation over a long time period and passage in Parliament. If these people use bad words to denigrate GDP, they are denigrating Parliament. PM Modi also invoked Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel and his idea of a single unified India and a tax regime to match.”
PM further said that his government is making efforts in the direction of one nation one tax. He said no one has actually opposed GST. “Theoretically everyone accepts GST. Whenever who so ever got the opportunity, they attempted to push GST,” said PM. ” If GST succeeds, everyone is responsible and if it fails it is everyone’s responsibility. I am saying this from day one, GST is not a framework of any one government but is a collective effort of all.” PM added.
PM Modi further emphasised on the weightage of each state in the GST council. PM said that 33 people from different states, union territories and central government are members of the GST council. He said the weightage that states like Puducherry and Nagaland has, is similar to that of the Indian government. PM further added by saying, “There have been many improvements. GST too is a new system that is blooming. I have been saying this since day one, that the citizens of this country will take some time to adjust to this system.”
Earlier, in an interview with Zee News, when asked about the bold financial decisions taken by his government and the amount of flak it has drawn, PM Modi had said, “If you measure the work done by our government in these four years by only these two parameters, it’s unfair. After nationalisation of banks, about 30-40 per cent of population was out of banking system. We brought them into the system. Isn’t that an achievement? Thousands of girls skipped schools because there were no toilets. We built those toilets for them. Isn’t that an achievement?”
PM Modi had also said that he is in favour of holding general elections and state polls together. “Logically speaking, holding different elections on different dates creates burden on the exchequer. Politicians are always under stress. So, I think both Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha elections should be organised simultaneously. It will save money and manpower,” the PM had said. He had also said that every atom of his body is indebted to the country and he wants to keep serving the people of the country.
Modi government is going to present its last full Budget ahead of the general elections 2019 in February. The financial statement for the year ahead is being keenly watched by critics because of tough decisions taken by the Modi government like launching the unified Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetisation.