Gandhinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said Goods and Services Tax (GST) was a collective decision of various state governments in which the Centre had a small role to play and the Congress was "an equal partner".
"Congress is an equal partner in GST decision and it should not spread lies about GST. The decision was not taken by Parliament or Narendra Modi. The decision was made by governments of all political parties, including the Congress governments of Punjab, Karnataka, and Meghalaya," Modi said.
He said the central government was "only the 30th part" in the decision which was taken in consultation with 29 states. "You are equally responsible for the decision," he said while addressing a huge rally of BJP party workers in poll-bound Gujarat at Bhat village here.
Modi said he has been in touch with businessmen after the launch of the GST and claimed they like the system because it has freed them from bureaucratic red tape.
He said, as promised, his government reviewed the way the new indirect tax regime was working after three months following which several changes were made to fulfil their demands. Modi also assured the business community that the government is trying to sort out problems they are still facing. "I am sure that businessmen of the country need this system, but they demand simplicity. This is being put before the GST (Council) and discussed collectively," he said.
He also tried to assuage the concerns of the trading community about penal action they might face for their past accounting. The prime minister said a "fear psychosis" was being created over the issue. Modi said businessmen will not need to adjust their past books to synchronise them with the new system.
He also attacked the Congress over observing November 8, the day demonetisation was announced last year, as "black day", something which his government would celebrate as "black money mukti diwas" (day of freedom from black money).
Modi said following demonetisation the sources of origin of Rs 3 lakh crore of dubious money are being probed and his government has shut down 210,000 companies without any protest.
"So far we have shut down 2.10 lakh companies and there has been no protest or burning of Modi's effigy," he said.