Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that a one-slab Goods and Services Tax (GST) would be implemented if his party is elected to power at the Centre. The Gandhi scion lambasted the present multi-slab GST, saying it has “ruined” the small shopkeepers in the country. “How much money did this Gabbar Singh Tax take away from your pockets? After this meeting, you should go to a small shopkeeper and ask him whether the GST benefited him or resulted in a loss,” Gandhi said at a public meeting in Madhya Pradesh’s Dabra.
“He will tell you that this Gabbar Singh Tax has ruined small shopkeepers and the people of this country,” Gandhi said. “I want to tell the small traders of India including those in Madhya Pradesh that (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi and his Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley) defamed you all. They termed you thieves. You are not thieves. You serve this country,” the Congress president said. He alleged that crores of honest shopkeepers across the country were suffering because of some wrong-doers.
“You (shopkeepers) are serving the country like every other citizen. There may be couple of people who adopt wrong ways. But this is not the responsibility of crores of country’s shopkeepers, who are honest,” Gandhi said. “I want to assure you that when a Congress government comes to power at the Centre, we will convert Gabbar Singh Tax into a real GST,” he said. He said if voted to power, the Congress will do away from five different taxes (slabs) and “there will be the lowest tax, only one tax (one slab of GST). “You will not need to hire accountants (to file GST returns)… Your (shopkeepers’) losses would be reduced and you will need to fill in fewer forms,” he said.