PC: Is the Chief Economic Advisor stupid too?
Sholay-style warnings, the Goods and Services Tax debate has now entered ‘stupid’ territory with a senior Congress leader invoking the word to lash out at Prime Minister Modi. On Thursday, former finance minister P. Chidambaram went after Prime Minister Narendra Modi for recently calling the Congress demand to cap GST at 18 per cent a “grand stupid thought”, asking if the government considered its Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian also stupid for voicing the same argument. “If it is grand stupid thought to argue for a cap of the tax rate at 18 per cent, then CEA Arvind Subramanian and many other economists are stupid. Is that what the PM is saying,” Chidambaram tweeted. The Congress leader then fired off more tweets to make his point.
Has PM read the CEA’s report on Revenue Neutral Rate? Did not CEA recommend an RNR of 15-15.5%?— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) November 30, 2017
Why can’t the normal GST rate be 15% and RNR plus rate on luxury goods be 18%?— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) November 30, 2017
At a rally in Gujarat’s Morbi on Wednesday, Modi had mocked “some intellectuals and economists” for misleading the country. “The Congress wants the same 18 per cent tax on something as essential as salt and something as expensive as Rs 5 crore worth car. They want 28 per cent tax on alcohol and costly cigarettes to be reduced to 18 per cent. “Do you want to sell cheap alcohol and spread cancer by selling cheap cigarettes? This is nothing but a grand stupid thought. There can’t be any bigger anti-poor and anti-middle class thought,” Modi had said. Single rate GST not possible, says Jaitley Asserting that a single rate Goods and Services Tax (GST) is not possible in the country, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday it is only applicable in a nation where the purchasing power of the people is uniform. “It is possible only in an economy where there is similarly placed population to have a single rate to start off with. In a highly differentiated society like India, it is not possible. Therefore we started with differential rates,” Jaitley said here at the HT Leadership Summit. “We had an atrocious tax system pre-July 1. These brackets would not have been possible if everyone were not on the same page. Let me make it clear, though, a single rate GST is not possible in India. We cannot have a tax system which has the same rate for a Hawai chappal and Mercedes car,” Jaitley asserted. The finance minister said the country will need a “boom period” like during 2003 to 2008 in order to achieve 10 per cent growth, which is a “challenging figure”. (with IANS) //
Tax and spend is the credo of the BJP government. Example: when crude oil prices fell by 50%, prices of petrol and diesel remained the same.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) November 30, 2017