26 October New Delhi (India)-Start Up India cannot be accompanied by shut up India, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said on Thursday, as he mocked the BJP-led government’s alleged indifference to the problems faced by the business community after introduction of the goods and services tax (GST).
In one of his most stringent criticism of GST and demonetisation, Gandhi also said the nation-wide single tax has unleashed a tsunami of tax terrorism and the situation will get worse.
“Start Up India cannot be accompanied by shut up India,” Gandhi said in reference to the government’s scheme for starting business ventures.
It is imperative for the government “to listen to you (the business community), trust you, believe in you”, he added.
Gandhi’s criticism –during a function of an industry body — came a day after Union finance minister Arun Jaitley attacked the Congress over its criticism of demonetisation and GST.
“GST has unleashed a tsunami of tax terrorism and finance minister Arun Jaitley has the nerve to say things are just fine,” Gandhi said.
“Modiji and his government have fired a double tap at the heart of our economy –notebandi and then GST have crippled our economy,” he added.
He also said the country will observe the death anniversary of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in a couple of weeks from now, an apparent mocking of the government’s move to observe November 8 as anti-black money day.
He admitted that there were “shortcomings”in the closing days of the UPA II government.
“But a new government of the Congress would be a much more decentralised, that distributes power much more than even the last Congress government,” he added.
The Congress leader also hit out at the government over job losses and accused it of “disrespecting” small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by not hearing them out and understanding their “pain” after demonetisation and GST implementation.
“The trust in this government is dead. For some reason the PM and his government are absolutely convinced that every single person in the country is a thief,” he said.
The government did not believe in its people and the people had “slowly withdrawn their trust” from the government.
“The only way trust comes is by listening to each other. Today no one in this government is listening to the pain of our people,” he said.
Gandhi added that globally India was being repeatedly asked if it still believed in its values of compassion and non-violence.
“People once looked up to us for our values and leadership. Today they laugh…,” he said.
He described the note ban decision as one taken without consultation or thought, without concern for its consequences and accused Modi of “unleashing terror on Indians”.