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GST Midnight Launch 'Symbolism', Small Businesses Not Ready: Chidambaram

Former Union finance minister P Chidambaram has deflected criticism over the opposition boycott of the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), saying the Parliament event is mere "symbolism".

Pallavi Ghosh | CNN-News18pallavighcnnibn

Updated:June 30, 2017, 12:34 PM IST
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GST Midnight Launch 'Symbolism', Small Businesses Not Ready: Chidambaram
Chidambaram is away at his constituency Sivaganga. The Congress is not attending the midnight launch event in Parliament because of a boycott by opposition parties.
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New Delhi: Former Union finance minister P Chidambaram has deflected criticism over the opposition boycott of the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), saying the Parliament event is mere "symbolism". The senior Congress leader, who is one of the original architects of the GST, rejected criticism that the boycott is "childish".

"The Congress party was the originator of the idea of GST and has welcomed GST. Not attending a midnight event has nothing to do with the fact that Congress party supports the idea of GST. The substance is important, not the symbolism," Chidambaram told CNN-News18 on Friday, hours ahead of the launch of GST.

ALSO READ | GST Benefits and Rates: Your Guide to the New Tax System

Chidambaram is away at his constituency Sivaganga and he and other members of the Congress are not attending the midnight launch event in Parliament because of a boycott by opposition parties.

Asked about the Narendra Modi government's timing on the rollout, the former Union minister said small and medium businesses in the country were not yet ready for the new Goods and Services Tax.

"I think Indian businesses, especially small and medium, are not yet ready for the rollout of GST. They have genuine concerns and apprehensions," he said.
| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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