Former Prime Minister and Economist Manmohan Singh Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said his party (Congress) had stopped the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), praising Singh for his skill in economics and saying it was contrary to the prime minister’s. Narendra Modi Works, puts country first and party second.
Delivering an Honorary Lecture on “Modi@20: Dreams Meet Delivery” at Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Ahmedabad On Saturday, Mandaviya also claimed that PM Modi gives priority to the country over winning elections.
The book, released earlier this year, features educationist and Infosys Foundation chairperson Sudha Murthy, economist Arvind Panagariya, external affairs minister S Jaishankar, authored by spiritual guru Sadhguru and others. Government for 20 years.
Referring to economist Surjit Bhalla’s account in the book, Mandaviya said that in the 1990s, when Narasimha Rao was the prime minister and Manmohan Singh was the finance minister, Singh suggested a policy of “one nation, one tax”.
“Despite the political ideology, no one can deny that Manmohan Singh was among the world’s renowned economists… He had said that there should be ‘one nation one tax’ as the finance minister of India. And later, Manmohan Singh became the Prime Minister,” Mandaviya said.
Explaining why Singh could not implement GST as prime minister for 10 years, Mandaviya said, “Because ‘one nation one tax’ was implemented in 12 countries of the world and businessmen cannot implement any new large scale tax. Were dissatisfied with the initial problems faced by the policy. In such countries the governments that came to power next time did not come…”
The Health Minister further said, ‘Even when Manmohan Singh thought of implementing this, his party said that think something else or else we will not form the government for the second time. Modiji said ‘country first’, whether the government comes to power or not (second time)… without compromising, the country should be first.”
India is the largest democracy in the world and governance is a challenge in a democracy, Mandaviya said and added, “The challenge is such that in a democratic system we have a constitutional system… There are political parties at different levels – national, state and regional. ..and they give priority to winning elections. But PM Modi does not give priority to winning elections, but gives priority to the country…the country should be first.’
Praising PM Modi for working “holistically” towards the betterment of all, Mandaviya said, “I went to Uzbekistan two years ago. It broke away from (then) Russia (Soviet Union).. .Russia was a communist country. Communist culture believes that communism is the only culture, no other culture exists and such belief led to its downfall…”