NEW DELHI -- Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today dubbed the GST implementation as a "tamasha" (gimmick) and said the tax reform measure was being rushed through in a "half-baked" manner as a "self-promotional spectacle".
Gandhi, who is currently abroad on a holiday, hit out at the government, accusing it of being "insensitive".
He said the government was rolling out the Goods and Services Tax (GST) without planning, foresight and institutional readiness, as it did during demonetisation.
"A reform that holds great potential is being rushed through in a half-baked way with a self-promotional spectacle #GSTTamasha (sic)," he said on Twitter.
The Congress leader said India deserved a GST roll-out that did not put crores of its ordinary citizens, small businesses and traders through tremendous pain and anxiety.
"Unlike demonetisation, GST is a reform that @INCIndia has championed & backed from the beginning...But like demonetisation, GST is being executed by an incompetent & insensitive Govt w/o planning foresight &institutional readiness #GSTTamasha (sic)," he said in a series of tweets.
Chief Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the BJP government had imposed the "highest ever GST rate in the world", unlike the erstwhile UPA dispensation which had proposed putting a cap of 18 per cent on tax.
He said the BJP government's "cumbersome GST with 5-tier tax structure" would affect the livelihood of shopkeepers, traders and small businessmen.
"Spirit of GST bill of Congress was -'Single, Simple, Transparent, Uncomplicated Tax & Reducing Inflation'. Present GST is just the opposite...'Complicated & Compliance Cost Burden' defines BJP's GST...," he said in a series of tweets.
Surjewala also flagged technological "unpreparedness" of the GST Network.
He said the new tax regime would affect the poor, middle class, farmers and small traders.
The Congress had yesterday announced boycotting the midnight GST launch event at the Central Hall of Parliament today.
The Congress is boycotting the event on grounds that a taxation reform could not be equated to midnight celebrations of Indian Independence the Central Hall has seen on August 15, 1947, and later on 50 years of freedom in 1972 followed by the celebration of the Golden jubilee of Independence in 1997.
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