BJP-ruled Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh stalled progress on GST
Finance Minister P Chidambaram on thursday accused the BJP-ruled states of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh
New Delhi: Finance Minister P Chidambaram on thursday accused the BJP-ruled states of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh of stalling progress on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.
He also said it is possible for India, which is ranked the third-largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity, to clock 6 pc GDP growth in this financial year.
“I think it’s possible to aim and achieve a growth rate of 6 per cent in 2014-15, even while I recognise that the international situation remains very, very tepid,” he told the media at the All India Congress Committee headquarters here.
India’s GDP growth slowed to a decade-low of 4.5 per cent in 2012-13. The government estimates the economy will pick up marginally in 2013-14 and expand by 4.9 per cent.
Chidambaram, who highlighted the achievements of 10 years of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule, also said 2000-01 and 2002-03 were the worst years since liberalisation in terms of growth and then “Prime Minister Vajpayee was forced to replace the Finance Minister (Yashwant Sinha).”
Chidambaram said the Congress party is committed to introduce the GST and the new Direct Taxes Code (DTC).
“Who has stalled GST and DTC? When a consensus on GST was nearly reached, it was the governments of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat that stalled further progress. Issues that had been settled were reopened.
“The consensus reached on the draft of the Constitution Amendment Bill was broken and work on the GST bill was interrupted,” Chidambaram said.
He also said senior BJP leader Sinha had “pleaded in favour” of GST and DTC.
Chidambaram said the Finance Ministry has now prepared a new DTC and has put it in the public domain. It is aimed at replacing the Income Tax Act of 1961.
“The UPA and the Congress remain committed to introducing and passing the DTC in the next Lok Sabha,” Chidambaram added.
The BJP in its election manifesto has promised to bring in GST, but it is silent on DTC.