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Country can demand Arun Jaitley's resignation over demonetization, GST: Yashwant Sinha

14 Novembre 2017

He said the rationalisation of the Goods and Services Tax rates had been "in the works" for three to four months.

The GST Council pruned the list of items in the top 28 per cent GST slab to just 50 from 228 which meant only luxury and sins goods were now in the highest tax bracket and items of daily use were shifted to 18 per cent. "When others call for it, it is childish, when he says it so very mature", said Sinha. "We need to remember that promise, improve the economy and make good on the promise before 2019", said Sinha.

Sinha said that one of the biggest flaw in the GST was that 40% of the revenue stream, including petroleum products, alcohol and some aspects of construction sector, were out of the purview of GST.

Chewing gum, chocolates, coffee, custard powder, marble and granite, dental hygiene products, polishes and creams, sanitary ware, leather clothing, artificial fur, wigs, cookers, stoves, after-shave, deodorant, detergent and washing power, razors and blades, cutlery, storage water heater, batteries, goggles, wrist watches and mattress are among the products on which tax rate has been cut from 28 per cent to 18 per cent. He said bringing products like petrol under GST will help lower the price. Earlier, the former finance minister had questioned demonetization on the first anniversary of Prime Minister Narendra Modi scrapping old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. "The problem is that whenever the world praises us we accept it but the moment we are criticized we disown it. It is more important that we worry about what India thinks of us than what the world thinks", Sinha added.

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The BJP veteran also claimed that the decision of demonetisation has failed to serve its goal. "Be it black money, or fake currency or eliminating terrorism, all these problems are still there".

Indian economy received "two shocks" in the form of demonetisation and GST in quick succession, said Mr Sinha, a former union finance minister. "Our finance minister is not from Gujarat, as he was elected to Rajya Sabha from here. I am saying this with full responsibility", Sinha said.

Sinha, a member of the BJP s "margdarshak mandal" that was set up in 2014 to guide the party, has also said a revival by the time of the next Lok Sabha elections due in 2019 was "highly unlikely" and a "hard landing" appeared inevitable.

In September this year, in a newspaper article headlined, "I need to speak up now", Yashwant had criticised Jaitley over what he called the "mess the finance minister has made of the economy" and flayed demonetization and the way the GST had been rolled out.

Country can demand Arun Jaitley's resignation over demonetization, GST: Yashwant Sinha