Skip to main content

Arun Jaitley must resign for mismanaging GST, says Yashwant Sinha; "agrees": India's GDP growth would be 0-1%

By Our Representative
Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has demanded the resignation of Union finance minister Arun Jaitley for poorly implementing Goods and Services Tax (GST), saying, the recent concessions given by the Government of India are only a reflection of how poor the country's finances are being managed.
"A Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat, Jaitley however does not represent Gujarat... He has been imposed on Gujarat", said Sinha talking media in Ahmedabad, adding, "Actually, Jaitley has taken taken away the Rajya Sabha seat, which should go to someone from Gujarat."
Claiming that he was not in Ahmedabad to make a political statement in the election-bound Gujarat, going to assembly polls next month, Sinha insisted, "The GST should become a simple tax, which hasn't yet happened."
Suggesting that he, as Union finance minister under AB Vajpayee's government, was responsible for coming up with the idea of GST, Sinha said, a committee headed by Vijay Kelkar had suggested it in 2003. "It is still possible to lost around. A new committee should be set up under Kelkar, which should directly interact with the political establishment, including the finance minister, and work out details on how to set things right."
Sinha said, "The new GST, as a simple tax system, should be ready by the time the next budget is introduced in February 2018", adding, "It should do away with adhocism."
Criticising the concessions, Sinha contended, "There are even now multiplicity of taxes under GST. Soon after the BJP came to power in 2014, I had insisted that the aim should be to do away with multiplicity of taxes, as it would lead to lobbying and litigations, which is what is happening."
Pointing out towards how the Indian economy is slipping, first because of demonetization and then GST, referring to his earlier statement that India's actual growth rate is 3.7% and not 5.7% as claimed by the Government of India, he admitted, "This calculation does not take into account the collapse of the unorganized sector due to demonetization."
"The current Gross Domestic Product (GDP) does not take into account the unorganized sector. Based on the growth rate of the manufacturing sector, currently we assume that the unorganized sector is also growing at the same rate. But as demonetization showed, this did not happen", he said answering a Counterview question.
Prominent economist Dr Arun Kumar, one of India's foremost black money experts, created a flutter a few days back when he told media in Ahmedabad that the unorganized sector went down by a whopping 22% during the demonetization phase; even now it is minus 4%. Based on this, Dr Kumar said, India's GDP growth would be 0-1%, and not even 3.7%.
Pointing out that India's manufacturing growth rate is just about 4%, highly insufficient for the country's economy to do well, Sinha said, "If the economy has to grow at a healthy pace, the manufacturing growth rate should be in the double digit. Currently, new investment is not taking place, even though stalled projects because of past policy paralysis have gone down from Rs 24 lakh crore to Rs 15 lakh crore."
Sinha added, "At the same time, the non-performing assets of public sector banks remain high, despite the fact that they are unwilling to fund new projects, as new investments are not taking shape."
Sinha is in Gujarat for what organizers of the media conference, Lokshahi Bachao Andolan, led by former BJP chief minister Suresh Mehta, "to speak up his mind". While he has held an interactive session with a select audience in Ahmedabad after talking to the media, he plans similar meetings in Rajkot and Surat over the next two days.
Before he flew to Ahmedabad on Monday evening, it is reliably learnt, he was asked by top BJP leaders not to go to Gujarat. However, he rejected the suggestion. He is said to have commented on reaching Ahmedabad that he wasn't sure what action would be taken against him after he returns.

Comments

TRENDING

Girl child education: 20 major states 'score' better than Gujarat, says GoI report

By Rajiv Shah
A Government of India report, released last month, has suggested that “model” Gujarat has failed to make any progress vis-à-vis other states in ensuring that girls continue to remain enrolled after they leave primary schools. The report finds that, in the age group 14-17, Gujarat’s 71% girls are enrolled at the secondary and higher secondary level, which is worse than 20 out of 22 major states for which data have been made available.

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Post-Balakot, danger that events might spiral out of control is 'greater, not less'

By Tapan Bose*
The fear of war in South Asia is increasing. Tensions are escalating between India and Pakistan after the Indian defence minister's announcement in August this year that India may revoke its current commitment to only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack, known as ‘no first use’. According to some experts who are watching the situation the risk of a conflict between the two countries has never been greater since they both tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.

'Favouring' tribals and ignoring Adivasis? Behind coercion of India's aborigines

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Tribal people account for 8.2% of India’s population. They are spread over all of India’s States and Union Territories. Even so they can be broadly classified into three groupings. The first grouping consists of populations who predate the Indo-Aryan migrations. These are termed by many anthropologists as the Austro-Asiatic-speaking Australoid people.