Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy yesterday described the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as the ‘biggest madness’ of the 21st century and called for radical reforms like abolishing income tax to achieve 10% growth rate to make the country an economic superpower by 2030.
He said the country has to do something radical given the last one year of economic crisis.
The BJP leader exuded confidence that by 2030 India will become the most developed country and challenge the US, but said for this the country will have to grow at 10% per annum.
He was delivering a talk on “India: An Economic Superpower by 2030”, organised in Hyderabad by the Pragna Bharati.
Referring to GST, he said: “This is so complicated that nobody understands which form to fill or where they want it to be uploaded. Somebody came from Barmer in Rajasthan. He said we don’t have electricity, how can we upload. I said upload it on your head and go to the prime minister and tell him,” Swamy said.
Stating that shortage of demand is the problem currently faced by the country, Swamy called for putting money in the hands of people so that they can spend and create the demand to keep the economic cycle moving.
The Rajya Sabha MP said that India can become an economic superpower by implementing some economic reforms.
“If you want 10% growth rate, the investment rate to the GDP should be 37% and 3.7% should be your efficiency factor and not 5% as it is today. Efficiency in use of capital should be the objective,” he said.
For improving the efficiency, he called for fighting corruption. “I will abolish income tax because it is a source of corruption.”
Swami also called for rewarding those who invest. “Don’t terrorise the investors,” he said, while terming GST as the biggest madness of the 21st century.
He also called for conferring the country’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, on former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao for the reforms he introduced during his tenure.
He noted that there had been no improvement in the reforms brought by Rao.
Pointing out that the growth rate between 1947 and 1990 was a mere 3.5%, he blamed India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru for this, and said he adopted the Soviet model of economy which had failed even in the Soviet Union.
Stressing the need for reforms and for focus on macro-economics, Swamy also made certain remarks while referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“I tell the PM that Ujwala, free gas distribution, startup... all this is micro-economics. What you need is macro-economics to get the engine of the economy moving. Abolish income tax. The rate of savings will go up and along with what you get from abroad, the rate of investment will rise and the growth rate will go up.
“My regret is that I am unable to persuade the PM to think like me,” Swami said and hoped that when all other methods fail, the prime minister would adopt his method.
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