Chidambaram attacks Centre, CFO News, ETCFO

India’s Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday came down heavily on the government, accusing it of converting the much touted economics reform goods and services tax regulation into a “bad law” as well as reducing the crucial rate decision making body GST Council , to merely a “talking shop”. He expressed his strong views against the GST regulation in a series of 10 tweets titled ten point guide to understand GST.

His censure came in the backdrop of persisting imbroglio between the Centre and multiple opposition states over the matters of whether to waive or reduce GST on Covid supplies or not, and further how and till when to compensate the states for the shortfall seen in their tax revenues amid Covid environment. The last 43rd GST Council meeting on May 28 decided to set up a Group of Ministers (GoM) to go into the need for concessions on Covid supplies, while FM Sitharaman assured of a special session near-term for the states’ compensation matter.

Here is what Chidambaram said:

Ten point guide to understand GST.

1. GST started as a good idea

2. BJP converted it into a bad law

3. It was notified with horrendous rates of tax

4. The law was applied as though tax-collecting officers were hounds hunting foxes

5. Every businessperson was suspected to be a tax evader

6. The GST Council was reduced to a talking shop

7. The GST Implementation Committee (consisting of officers) became the tail that wagged the dog

8. The FM treats the GoM as an extension of the NDA and its supporting parties

9. All FMs who express a contrary view are treated as errant schoolboys

10. The idea of GST: RIP

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