GABBAR SINGH TAX
Following a dramatic midnight session of Parliament, the prime minister and president launched the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on July 1, a piece of legislation nearly 20 years in the making. While most economists agree on the benefits of subsuming a slew of confusing taxes under a single nationally applicable regime, the implementation of GST and the many, frequently changing rates led to protests and anger. Small business owners, a bastion of BJP support, were particularly dismayed. Many of the protests were about tax slabs, and the process through which certain goods were assigned certain slabs. Coming on the heels of demonetisation, GST was thought by some analysts to sound the death knell for many small and medium enterprises.