GST has flaws; redesign, revisit in its entirety: Punjab FM Manpreet Singh Badal

BENGALURU, Aug 29:Punjab Finance Minister

Manpreet Singh Badal said on Thursday there were flaws in the
Goods and Services Tax and called for GST 2.0 by redesigning
and revisiting it in its entirety.

“GST has been a disappointment, and I think there has
been some flaw in the design,” the Minister in the Congress
government headed by Capt. Amarinder Singh told PTI here.

He said expectation was that once GST was introduced,
GDP would go up by two percentage points, tax collections
would increase, exports would become competitive and filing
would be very easy.

But the experience has been that the GDP growth has
“not taken place” to the expected level and filing is “very,
very difficult”, said Badal, here to attend the 8th “Invest
North” summit, organised by the Confederation of Indian

He said there were certain flaws in the GST and
wondered whether a “bad design” can be corrected.

“So, what we are talking about is GST 2.0 because in
the last two-and-half years, there has been almost 4,000
statutory amendments in the law. So, if you operate a patient
4,000 times, he is not likely to get well,” Badal said.

“So, I think we need to redesign our GST and if I am
not mistaken, the tax collections in the last two years are
actually lower than what India was collecting two years back”,
he said.

If Indian economy is growing at 6-7 per cent, the tax
collection should also be growing at least by four per cent,
if not six, according to him.

“But how come that the tax collection has dropped in
the last two years? So, GST has been actually a disappointment
and my own feeling is that we have not been able to keep an
ear to the ground,” the Punjab Finance Minister said.

He claimed that stakeholder consultation is not taking
place, and there is a certain amount of arrogance in the
Government of India, which is not willing to concede there are
flaws in the GST.

“Go in for knee-jerk amendments like… if there are
elections in Gujarat… bring it (GST rates on certain items)
down…this is not how countries operate. So, my own feeling
is that we have to do a GST 2.0”.

Badal said it does not make a difference which
political party one belongs to, but the objective should be to
make India a superpower.

“How do we achieve that? We can only achieve that if
we have a system of taxation which is fantastic, first-class.
India was not the first country to introduce GST. We are the
161st nation”, he said.

“Let’s redraw it in its entirety because you if start
making changes in terms of tax rates and so on, it’s not going
to cut it. Let’s revisit it again, the whole thing…,” Badal
added. (PTI)