Chennai, February 24, 2018
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor today said the “botched” implementation of the Goods and Services Tax has created a “Frankenstein monster” in the bureaucracy where every small firm has to fill in several forms.
“We had one nation, one tax model. We did not have any idea that BJP will come with six different rates,” he told reporters here. “We also did not expect that they would create a Frankenstein monster in the bureaucracy where every small enterprise has to fill in 37 forms a year, three forms a month under GST,” Tharoor said. The MP was here to release a report “Unmade in India” prepared by the All India Professionals Congress (AIPC), a newly formed department of the Congress. The report revealed that due to GST and demonetisation, several jobs were lost and firms shut in Tiruppur district in Tamil Nadu, a knitwear hub.
“Make in India is not working and has failed the people. Botched implementation of GST and the disaster of demonetisation have cost jobs,” said Tharoor, who is also the AIPC Chairman. Responding to a query that GST was also mulled by the UPA, Tharoor said, the concept of the Congress was a “bit different.” Noting that the entrepreneurial spirit in the country was “severely eroded” due to GST and demonetisation, he said, instead of faciliating Start Up india, the report from Tiruppur shows that central government policies “undermine” the spirit of entrepreneurship.
“This is a great dissapointment. We are not judging the government by our yardsticks. We are judging the government by what they claim and what they are trying to do,” the MP said. “They have failed in terms of their own goals. Their slogans and empty speeches have never looked more hollow when you look at this report from Tiruppur”, he said. The BJP government claims have been so “inefficient” that the Tiruppur companies despite paying GST, they were not getting the refunds, he said. The cash flow in the textile firms has “dropped dramatically” and they have been firing people because the companies did not have the liquidity that was there in the past, he alleged.
Asked about what would be the next step, he said, “the next step is to change the government. Until then, people must be aware of this problem”. “These issues are man-made. This is not because of some global forces that have come in. These problems are created by Central government. People of India ought to know what is happening,” he said.
The Congress leader said the victims were largely from the small, micro and medium enterprise sector, which is the backbone of the country. To a query, Tharoor said he would take up the issue in Parliament when it meets next month.
[The Financial Express]