When Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani on Sunday cited a news report to claim that the recently implemented Goods and Services Tax was actually helping job growth, Twitter users erupted with hilarity.
Since its implementation on July 1, the journey of the GST, envisioned an umbrella levy to replace all indirect taxes, has been rocky. Small and medium enterprises, especially, have been struggling to comprehend the complicated tax regime with multiple slabs. They have faced technical glitches and a massive working capital crunch. This has slowed an economy that was already lagging after the November 2016 demonetisation of high-currency notes.
But Irani chose to celebrate an unintended consequence of the move: that it has come as a boon to the chartered accountants.
Though the report in question was talking about how GST had boosted the international demand for Indian chartered accountants, now well-versed with a new tax system, Twitter users took this as an opportunity to point out the many shortcomings of the system and its implementation closer home.
Here are some reactions.
Others pointed out that the BJP was overlooking many difficulties the regime had caused to small traders, while celebrating how it had benefited an already affluent class.
Many wondered why Irani was celebrating news that validated claims that the GST in its current form was far too complex for the common taxpayer.
Of course, there were also those who found in this an opportunity to revive digs on Irani’s educational qualifications, which the minister has been opaque about. Some users highlighted the six-day course she did at Yale, after which the Union minister had claimed that she had a degree from the prestigious university.