Modi takes business class in Gujarat
Prime Minister tries to appease the community with revised GST, says Diwali has come early
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi appeared to sound the bugle for the year-end Gujarat elections on Saturday, saying Diwali had come early this year because of the changes announced to the GST regime.
On a visit to Gujarat days before the polling schedule for his home state and Himachal Pradesh are announced, Modi said: “Diwali has come early for our citizens due to the decisions taken in the GST Council... You all must be busy preparing for Diwali, and in Gujarat, Diwali is celebrated with great enthusiasm, especially among businessmen.”
On Friday, the GST Council had eased tax compliance rules for small and medium businesses and slashed tax rates on 27 products, among other things.
Modi said “some very important decisions” related to GST had been taken. “We do not want the country’s business class to get caught in red tape, files, bureaucracy, I will never want this,” he said.
Addressing a gathering in Dwarka after laying the foundation stone for a bridge between Okha and Bet Dwarka, Modi said his government stood for all-round development and panned the Opposition for its “narrow vision” and resorting to cheap stunts to drum up support. In contrast, the BJP believes in concrete action to facilitate “all round and extensive progress,” he said.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala hit back, saying an opportunity to have an uncomplicated tax regime was lost due to the “sheer incompetence” of a “panicstricken government... lost in the chaos of its own making”.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray criticised the Modi government for taking away the common man’s credit in forcing the cut in GST rates. “There is no Lakshmi (cash) in people’s pocket now as Govt has taken it all. People are worried how to do Lakshmi poojan during Diwali? It’s good that govt reduced the GST charges, but see the social media how people are making fun of this GST,” he said.
Today, I have seen newspapers from across the country. They carry headlines that Diwali has come 15 days earlier. You all must be busy preparing for Diwali, and in Gujarat, Diwali is celebrated with great enthusiasm Prime Minister Narendra Modi