* Sample: What GST slab to slot beef curry in? Stumped Fin Min babus look for answer
New Delhi, June 28: The much-expected GST (Goods and Services Tax) is all set for introduction and the country is poised on the frontiers of major history and confusion.
On the one hand, GST is without a doubt a far-reaching reformist move from the Finance Ministry, certainly the biggest one after the decision to move the default Ministry website from Internet Explorer to something else that actual human beings use.
But the GST launch has also placed the country on the brink of confusion for two important reasons. One, the tax system and its enforcement is, as it is, complex. Two, the whole thing is being implemented by the Finance Ministry, whose CV also includes the demonetisation move.
Nearly nine months after demonetisation, the things that we know for sure about demonetisation are: 1. It came into effect from midnight November 8, 2016. 2. Ha. Ha. Ha.
The demonetisation drive was intended to flush out from the economy all the dirty money. But as far as we can see, the Pawars, the T T V Dhinakarans, the Chidambarams, the Lalus are still doing fine whereas you and me, with our salaried money that we cannot hide, have gone through hell. And we have to believe that demonetisation was good for us.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley himself has said there is bound to be some confusion in the first few days of GST. Which, of course, means things will not be any clearer till next Pongal next.
Anyway, as the GST is about to become a reality, we at Crank’s News first thought of coming out with a primer on the subject. Then we had a look at the official primer released by the Finance Ministry. It immediately became clear that we were up against a formidable rivalry whose ability to confuse people will beat us hollow every single time we are pitted against it.
So we decided to turn the clock forward and bring to you headlines from the future, from the post-GST world. Here go the 5 possible headlines and news reports that we are bound to see in the coming days:
1) Venkaiah lauds Modi, says GST means ‘Great System of Taxation’
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu today lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a function got up to laud Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
‘There is no particular agenda to this meeting except praising the Prime Minister. We thought this makes more sense than having an agenda and still praising the Prime Minister,’ Venkaiah said.
On the occasion, he termed GST as a ‘Great System of Taxation’.
Later, in another function, he launched an app that comes up with acronyms instantly. The app, Cringeworthy Acronym Provider (CRAP) is said to be the Minister’s brainchild.
2) GST enrollers asked for Aadhaar registration, govt says Aadhaar not must, but inevitable
Those logging on to the GSTN system have been asked to link their account with their Aadhaar details.
Ministry sources asserted that Aadhaar is not mandatory, its linking to GST account is, however, inevitable. ‘Hope it clears the air,’ a Fin Ministry spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, Finance Ministry sources also said that the Ministry is launching a refurbished GSTN system that is fully Hindi-based it, but it should not be seen as an attempt to impose Hindi.
3) Cong terms GST a massive fraud, says the scheme was UPA’s brainchild
Returning from abroad, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today termed the recently rolled out GST as a massive fraud on the country, even while saying that the credit for thinking up the GST should go to the UPA regime.
Asked by reporters how can he say that GST is a fraud even while claiming credit for it, Rahul Gandhi, in one of the most sensible things he has ever said, replied: ‘No comments’.
4) Rajasthan man buys 3 lead pencils, gets bill for Rs 17,300
When the 33-year-old Rajesh Singh, an employee at a finance company in Bikaner, went to buy a few pencils for his 4-year-old daughter Reshma, little would he have imagined that he would be poorer by several thousands of rupees.
The bill for three HD pencils turned out to be a whopping Rs 17,000. When Rajesh Singh asked the departmental store cashier, the latter too was bemused. However, the store manager said there were some glitches in the computerised system aligned to the new GST regime. “We have had a few such cases already. Just the other day, a woman got a bill for Rs 23,000 for a pair of lingeries. But before we could explain that it was due to an error in the system, she paid the bill and walked off happy that she had bought stuff from a high-end brand.”
5) What GST slab to slot beef curry in? Stumped Fin Min babus look for answer
Beef and controversies refuse to die. This time the one to trip over the succulent beef curry are the Finance Ministry officials.
Apparently, there is much wringing of hand in despair by them as they are not sure whether to slot to beef curry as a food item or something that deserves to be pushed into the highest forbidding category, reserved for things like cigarettes and liquor.