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

132 Gujarat citizens, including IIM-A faculty, others declare solidarity with Kashmiris

Counterview Desk
A week after it was floated, 132 activists, academics, students, artists and other concerned citizens of Gujarat, backed by 118 living in different parts of India and the world, have signed a "solidarity letter" supporting the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), who, it claims, have been silenced and held captive in their own land. The signatories include faculty members and scholars of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

Bharat Ratna nominee ‘joined hands’ with British masters to 'crush' Quit India

By Shamsul Islam*
The Quit India Movement (QIM), also known as ‘August Kranti' (August Revolution), was a nation-wide Civil Disobedience Movement for which a call was given on August 7, 1942 by the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee. It was to begin on August 9 as per Gandhi's call to 'Do or Die' in his Quit India speech delivered in Bombay at the Gowalia Tank Maidan on August 8. Since then August 9 is celebrated as August Kranti Divas.

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Cess for Gujarat construction workers: Spending less than 10%; no 'direct help' to beneficiaries

By Our Representative
While the Gujarat government’s Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, set up in 2004, as of March 31, 2019, has collected a total cess of Rs 2,097.62 crore from the the builders, it has spent less than 10% -- Rs 197.17 crore. And, as on May 31, 2019, the total cess collection has reached Rs 2,583.16 crore, said a statement issued by Bandhkam Majur Sagathan general secretary Vipul Pandya.
Pointing out that just about 6.5 lakh out of 20 lakh workers have been registered under the board, Pandya said, vis-à-vis other states, Gujarat ranks No 13th in the amount spent on the welfare of the construction workers, while 11th in the amount collected.
And while the builders are obliged to pay just about 1% of the total cost of their project, the calculation of the cess is flawed: It is Rs 3,000 per square yard; accordingly, Rs 30 per square yard is collected. “Had the cess been collected on the real construction cost, it would have been at least Rs 7,000 cr…