GST ‘biggest madness of the 21st century’: Subramanian Swamy

Describing India’s Goods and Service Tax (GST) reform as “the biggest madness of the 21st century,” BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy said on Wednesday that the nation needs to grow at 10 percent per year to become a super power by 2030.

He also demanded that the late PV Narasimha Rao, former prime minister, should be given the highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna, for the reforms he introduced during his tenure.

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Speaking about “India-an Economic Superpower by 2030,” organized by the Pragna Bharati, Swamy said that although the country had achieved eight percent growth from time to time, there had been no improvements on the reforms brought in by the Congress leader.

“So how to get that 3.7 percent (efficiency factor to utilize investment)? (We need to) fight corruption, second, reward those who are going to invest. Don’t terrorise them (investors) with income tax and this GST, which is the biggest madness of the 21st century. This GST is so complicated (that) nobody understands which form to fill out where. And they wanted to upload it on the computer.”

“Someone came from Rajasthan, Barmer. He said we do not have electricity, how can we upload it? So I said upload it on your head and go to the Prime Minister and tell him,” Swamy said on improving investment efficiency levels.

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He said India should grow by 10 percent per annum over the next 10 years to become a superpower. If this momemtum continues, it would overtake China and challenge the U.S. for the number one position in 50 years, he said.

Swamy said India’s current problem is shortage of demand as people don’t have money to spend, thereby disrupting the economic cycle.

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“You want the growth rate to be 10%, then the investment rate to GDP should be 37% and 3.7% should be your efficiency factor and not 5% as it is today,” he said, suggesting that income tax should be abolished to remove corruption and achieve higher economic growth.

Pitching for the Bharat Ratna for Narasimha Rao, the BJP leader said the reforms were introduced in the 1990s by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as minister of finance in Rao’s cabinet.

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“After (PV’s regime) that, we have been achieving eight per cent from time to time. But we have not improved on the reforms that Narasimha Rao brought in. We need to do it now. Your question is, will we be an economic superpower by 2030 in 10 years? Of course, we can,” he said.

Swamy said that India’s agricultural output per acre was lower than that of many other countries due to lack of irrigation facilities.

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