It's Modi's D-day

It's Modi's D-day

 The GST rollout is being touted as a big political day for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his NDA government but the BJP's fortunes would depend on the impact in the next few months.

Though implementing the GST before September is a constitutional necessity, Modi has put his stakes as its immediate political consequences will be felt in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, where polls are due later this year.

During his recent visit to the US, the prime minister exhibited confidence by suggesting to overseas CEOs that GST execution could be a subject of studies in US business schools.

The BJP leadership, said sources, is hoping to exploit it as one of the main campaign issues during the 2019 elections as it did with demonetisation in Uttar Pradesh (UP) if the application of GST is not too rough and prolonged.

Modi, who will address the central hall of Parliament minutes ahead of the launch, is also expected to share his piece of mind during his speech on the 68th Chartered Accountants' Day celebrations on Saturday here.Even at the time of the surprise announcement on demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes, the government and the BJP had to rough ride initial months of turbulence owing to shortage of cash.

But, with Modi pitching his move as an anti-corruption drive and encashed it politically by converting it into a rich versus poor debate, the BJP reaped electoral dividends in UP.

Similarly, the BJP is cagey now on the fallout of the big ticket economic reform since the traders have already hit the streets in many states, including those administered by its own party, such as Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, to protest against GST.

A BJP general secretary expressed concern when asked whether the party will go to town with the heralding of the new tax regime as it did with demonetisation. “We will have to see the reactions in a couple of months before calculating our political strategy,” he stressed. The party leader still said like the government, the BJP too will explain the benefits of GST.

Another BJP leader, however, was slightly less apprehensive on its negative fallout.
He said, unlike demonetisation which enveloped most of the country, GST is going to impact only 80 lakh registered traders and businessmen.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari insisted that GST will bolster the country's economy by ensuring transparency and wiping out black money from the banking system.
At a news channel-organised event, Gadkari also argued that it will knock out the existing “inspector raj”, red-tapism and enhance revenue generation opportunities of the states and the Centre.

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