COIMBATORE: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said the his party is committed to reconceptualising the Goods and Services Tax regime if voted to power at the Centre and assured ushering in a ‘One tax, minimum tax.’
The current tax system has crippled the Medium Small and Micro Enterprises, he said in an interaction with industry representatives here.
The Congress leader, who began his campaign for the Tamil Nadu assembly polls, said there was the need to promote MSMEs, to compete with countries like China and Bangladesh.
“In my mind the future of India and any competition we want to win with China, Bangladesh or others is through the MSMEs,” he said.
Small and medium industry was the backbone of job creation, he said and blamed the Centre for creating ‘huge disharmony’ in the country.
“You cannot have disharmony and have economic growth,” he said and alleged India is unable to provide jobs and the economy has been devastated.
Answering a participant on GST, he hit out at the Modi-led government for bypassing a bulk of negotiations that took place during the UPA rule for a simple, minimum tax.
Eventually, the BJP government ‘superimposed’ its own model deviating from the originally conceptualised framework and as a result, people paid ‘five’ (in reference to slabs) massive amount of taxes and faced huge complications too, he alleged.
He assured restructuring the GST to pave the way for ‘one tax, minimum tax,” if his party was voted to power at the Centre.
“This GST regime will simply not work. It will impose huge load on MSMEs and cripple our economic system. The biggest supporters of GST were large businesses. There is a reason for it. GST… as it is currently designed to help them and not MSMEs,” Gandhi said.
His party and the United Progressive Alliance were committed to reconceptualising and restructuring the GST for a one tax and minimum tax.
“When we come to power in Delhi we will restructure the GST and give you one tax, minimum tax,” he said.
MSMEs should be truly empowered and they should have access to credit, he said adding the government cannot tie the hands of industries with ,’GST and demonetisation’ and ask them to compete with China.
There was the need to simplify GST and other norms for the benefit of MSMEs. “Without unclogging the banking system, without giving the MSMEs protection and incentives for job creation, the Indian economic system will not move forward,” he said.