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Cong will reform, simplify GST if voted to power, says Rahul

DH News Service, Kalaburagi, Feb 14 2018, 0:10 IST
AICC President Rahul Gandhi interacts with 371(J) beneficeries and Entrepreners at PDA Engineering College in Kalaburgi on Tuesday. Seen - AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal and MP Mallikarjun Kharge. -PV Photo/

AICC President Rahul Gandhi interacts with 371(J) beneficeries and Entrepreners at PDA Engineering College in Kalaburgi on Tuesday. Seen - AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal and MP Mallikarjun Kharge. -PV Photo/

AICC president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that the Congress will review the existing Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime and make it people friendly if the party is voted to power in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

"Our (Congress) position is that when we come back to power, we will reform the current GST, simplify it and attempt a one-tax with a cap that is minimum," Rahul said during an interaction with professionals and entrepreneurs.

He held a 45-minute interaction here on the last day of his Janaashirvada Yatra, covering five districts of Hyderabad Karnataka region.

"Do you think GST has complicated your life?" Rahul asked while interacting with tax practitioner Praveen Kulkarni on audit of small traders. Kulkarni said it has.

"The GST's idea was to simplify life. The Congress' concept was one tax on the largest number of items used by the common man capped at a percentage. We pleaded with the BJP and the NDA not to push a 5-tier, 28% GST. We said, do a pilot project first without pushing an untested system on a billion people. The BJP didn't agree," Rahul said. The Congress has dubbed the GST as Gabbar Singh Tax.

RSS agenda

Rahul claimed that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had infiltrated India's administration. "Do you know that there's an RSS person working as an officer on special duty in every single ministry?" he said. "Ministers are not acting alone. The RSS is guiding them."

This remark was made during his response to a question by Dr Vikram Subbareddy, who complained that the Centre sought to replace the self-governing Medical Council of India with a body of persons nominated by the government. "The RSS' approach is to capture India's institutions, than letting them function independently," the Congress chief said.

The Hindu nationalist organisation, he said, was "planting its people" everywhere. "The idea of demonetisation was planted by an RSS ideologue. We had a Planning Commission, which was replaced by a Niti Aayog where they have their people. In Madhya Pradesh, the Vyapam scam happened and they destroyed the education system so as to have their people," he charged.

'India is isolated'

In his opening remarks before he began taking questions, Rahul severely attacked the BJP-led Centre for ending up "isolating" India with a "flawed" foreign policy.

"We are competing with China on job-creation, while the Chinese have established presence in Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Burma. The NDA has created a problem in foreign policy. India is isolated today in the region," he said.

Even Russia, which he said was India's old friend, was "cosying up" with others. "We are entering a new phase in world policy where there's increasing tension between nations. India needs to have a clear vision."

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