New Delhi: Hailed as a “historic event”, the ruling BJP’s twitter account has been promoting the midnight rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) as #GSTForNewIndia.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his council of ministers and the BJP leadership will be busy from July 1, promoting and publicising this “One Nation One Tax” slogan for the new tax regime. For 17 years, the idea of “one nation, one tax” witnessed several delays, heated politics and more. But the time of GST has now arrived. And it was this very BJP which was blamed by the then Congress-led UPA government for stalling it and depriving the country of “massive financial benefits due to the damaging political gambles”.
In fact, Mr Modi, the then chief minister of Gujarat, had vehemently opposed the UPA’s version of the bill in 2013 by claiming that the state would incur losses worth Rs 14,000 crore every year due to it. His government had earlier described the UPA government’s proposed constitutional amendment draft for GST in 2011 as “retrograde in nature and completely against the tenets of fiscal federalism…” However, it was the Atal Behari Vajpayee-led NDA government which had initiated the ground work for the GST by setting up a committee, headed by then West Bengal finance minister Asim Dasgupta, in 2000 to design a GST model.
In 2009, the BJP opposed the structure of the GST announced by the then finance minister Pranab Mukheree.