- PM addresses huge rally in Gandhinagar during Gujarat campaign
- Congress and other parties involved in GST decisions, he said
- GST welcomed by traders, Congress must stop lying, he said
The GST has been tagged, along with the PM's shock decision to ban high-denomination notes a year ago, as a significant contributing factor to the economic slowdown. Top union ministers have said that the slowdown, based on the last quarter which registered a three-year-low of 5.7 per cent growth, is being exaggerated. The PM himself in a lengthy defence of his economic record said that "a handful of pessimists" are playing fast and loose with facts to misrepresent a blip in the economy.
The GST, which replaced a jumble of tariffs and levies imposed by the centre and states, was conceived of by the previous Congress-led government. The Congress and other opposition parties have attacked Mr Modi's administration for a rush job in introducing the GST on July 1. Problems included a glitched GST Network, the vast IT back-end system meant to crunch up to 5 billion invoices a month, and complicated tax slabs.
"We took feedback and we made changes," Mr Modi said to a huge rally in Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat. "All parties and states were involved" in deciding the main features of the GST, he said.