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GST may have flaws, but it’s the law now: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Pune on Friday. (Express Photo: Ashish Kale)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Friday that the government was committed to bringing in deep structural reforms and the decision to cut corporate tax last month was evidence of its commitment.

She also said that she is in touch with representatives of the automobile industry and is taking efforts to accommodate their demands.

Sitharaman addressed a press conference in Pune as part of the BJP’s Assembly election campaign. She also interacted with businessmen, industrialists and chartered accountants.

“We are committed to deep structural reforms. After the Budget, every week or once in 10 days, I have made important announcements. They are not just for temporary easing of issues. For example, the corporate tax cut was not just a tax cut but it came with a complete structural overhaul. We gave a system through which you will join in a tax, and pay a certain level of tax without any exemption complicating the process,” said the FM.

Nirmala Sitharaman addressed a press conference in Pune as part of the BJP’s Assembly election campaign (Express Photo: Ashish Kale)

“I am interacting with the automobile sector players from all over the country. They have met me twice in Delhi. It is true that consumer demand has not revived for the automobile sector. If any sector wants anything in particular, they can always talk to me,” Sitharaman said.

At the interaction, Sitharaman was asked a question by a cost accountant who sought her time for a meeting in Delhi with a few colleagues to offer ‘five suggestions’ to simplify the GST. He said that in the present form “everyone was cursing it”, to which the Finance Minister replied: “... We can’t suddenly say what a god damned structure is this … It’s only been two years. I wish from Day 1 it had met your satisfaction. But I’m sorry it has not. But all of us were a party to it. Let’s own it up. On GST, I want each of us to give us solutions for better compliance. I will hear all views but we can’t just damn it. It’s been passed in Parliament. It’s been passed in every state assembly. It might have its flaws ... But it’s a kanoon of this country.”