GST madness of century: Subramanian Swamy

The Asian Age.

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Swamy also hit out at regular amendments of the GST Act and forms.

BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy (Photo: PTI)

Hyderabad: In fresh criticism of the Goods and Services Tax regime, BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy labelled the tax reform as the ‘biggest madness of the 21st century’ on Wednesday. Swmay not only went on to praise former Prime Minister late P.V. Narasimha Rao for the reforms Mr Rao had introduced, he also took a sly dig at the commerce and industries minister Piyush Goyal.

Swamy, in an event organised by the Pragna Bharati in Hyderabad, said that while the country had achieved eight per cent growth from time to time, no major reforms were brought in by the successive governments.

In thinly-veiled criticism of Mr Goyal’s Amazon comment, Mr Swamy said, “So how to get that 3.7 per cent (efficiency factor to utilise investments). Fight corruption, second, reward those who will invest... Don’t terrorise them (investors) with income tax and this GST, which is the biggest madness of the 21st century.”

Mr Swamy also hit out at regular amendments of the GST Act and forms. “This GST is so complicated (that) nobody understands which form to fill where. And they wanted it to be uploaded to the computer. Somebody came from Rajasthan, Barmer... He said we dont have electricity, how can we upload? So I said upload it on your head and go to the Prime Minister and tell him.”

He opined that if India wants to overtake China and the US in the next 50 years, then it has to grow at 10 per cent per annum. However, Swamy admitted that the shortage of demand is due to people not having money to spend, thereby hindering the economic cycle. He once again called for the abolishment of income-tax. “You want 10 per cent growth rate, then investment rate to the GDP should be 37 per cent and 3.7 per cent should be your efficiency factor and not five per cent as it is today.”

Pitching for the Bharat Ratna for Narasimha Rao, the BJP leader said that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as finance minister in Rao's cabinet, implemented the reforms in the 1990s. “After (PV's regime) that, we have been achieving eight per cent from time to time. But we have not improved on the reforms that Narasimha Rao brought in.... We need to do it now. Your question is, will we be an economic superpower by 2030 in 10 years? Of course we can,” he said.