“GST Has Activated Rapid Hawala Transactions”

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Kolkata: On the one year completion of Goods and Service Tax, Amit Mitra, State Finance Minister of West Bengal finance and industries minister has hit out at the Narendra Modi government repeatedly, targeting it on two decisions that it has been touting as major successes.

West Bengal government has slammed the centre’s unprepared implementation of GST as it has hampered During a Facebook live session on Saturday, Mitra called the rollout of GST unplanned and said demonetisation had failed to achieve its declared objective: getting rid of black money.

Mitra said that contrary to claims that Rs 3 lakh crore in black money would be extinguished, the actual figure was only Rs 16,000 crore. He also indicated that the government’s claim of a cashless economy was not based on reality. “The total currency in circulation before demonetisation was Rs 18 lakh crore.

Now, it is Rs 18.7 lakh crore. So, where is digital ec-onomy? Use of cash has gone up substantially. As per our figures, 66% people in India have not done a single digital transaction yet,” he added.

Mitra, who was the chairman of the empowered committee of finance ministers for rollout of goods and services tax, said GST was rolled out without proper preparation, as a result of wh-ich the economy was suffering. “We had requested not to roll out GST on July 17, but the Centre did not listen. As a fallout, the GSTN software failed to manage so many transactions. Now, a lot of companies are filing returns manually because the software failed to take the huge load. As a result, hawala transactions have gone up.”

Mitra also said the Centre had ruined the banking system. “NPAs were Rs 2.9 lakh crore when this government came to power. Now it is over Rs 9 lakh crore.”

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