India's Gandhi vows to reform sales tax, seek investment as poll nears
NEWDELHI: India’smain opposition Congress party will simplify the GST and take “rational economic decisions” to attract foreign investment if voted back to power in a general election due by May, its leader Rahul Gandhi said on Saturday. Launched in 2017, the GST was initially hailed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s biggest economic reform as it replaced more than a dozen federal and state levies and unified Asia’s third largest economy.
But its chaotic implementation and complexities here -months after a shock ban by Modi on high value bank currency aimed at unearthing untaxed wealth -- badly hurt small businesses and led to millions of job losses in the cash-driven economy, presenting the biggest challenge to Modi s re-election chances.
Gandhi, scion of India’s Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, said during a visit to Dubai that foreign investment was at a multiyear low in India due to the “ill-advised and badly thought out economic moves” such as the currency ban and a “poorly designed GST”.