The Grand Report 2015 – the flagship report on economic reforms that has become an institution of national importance – has come under fire for its report on GST and GSTN.
As the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, is keen on promoting the report, many have questioned whether the report is a good way to achieve his vision of “Make in India”.
The Grand Report is a report that is supposed to be an objective look at how the nation’s economy has changed over the last 15 years and what the reforms will be.
It is a summary of the economic reforms undertaken by the government in a given year.
The Grand report does not take into account many other factors such as growth in consumer spending, consumer confidence, the impact of demonetisation, employment growth, the macroeconomic backdrop and other economic indicators that are part of the report.
The Grand report also does not include any of the reforms mentioned in the report that are expected to come in time for the 2019 general elections.
Ahead of the Prime Ministers Budget on March 17, the Prime Minster had said that he wants to ensure that the Grand report is an accurate assessment of the economy and the changes that have been made to the economy.
Prime Minister Modi’s announcement to the media that he is making a ‘Grand’ report for the next five years has also been criticised by analysts.
“What is happening now, is that the report of the government has become the platform of the opposition and of the Congress parties.
The Prime Minister is trying to control the narrative that is being created about him,” said Ajay Sharma, a former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) economist and former member of the Economic Survey Committee.
In an article in The Economic Times, Rajeev Mehta, a columnist for the Financial Express, said that the Prime minister’s Grand Report report is not “a positive report that should be seen as a positive for the economy, but it should be used as a political tool”.
“It is not a good report for India to have a Grand Report.
Its purpose is to try to influence the opinion of the people and to create the perception that the government is doing well and the economy is in good shape.
This is what it has done,” Mehtar said.
Sharma added that the prime minister’s statements on GSTN and GST have not gone down well with the people.
“This is an attack on the people, it is an attempt to create political perception, a perception that is based on nothing but lies and distortions,” he said.
Sharma said that many economists have criticised the Prime ministers report on the GSTN, but they did not do so before the Budget announcement.
According to Sharma, the Government of India should have taken into account the concerns expressed by economists about the Grand Committee report.
Economists had said at the time of the Budget that the GST was not likely to be implemented.
There is a sense that the Government did not take any action to curb the inflation in the economy that is hurting the middle class, and the Prime ministerial report has given the impression that the economy has recovered.
Modi, who had said he wanted to boost the economy in five years, has been trying to increase economic growth to create a more prosperous India.
At a rally in Mumbai on March 8, the BJP-led government had said it would increase the GST from 20 per cent to 40 per cent.
It has also said that there would be no cap on the amount of the tax, nor a cap on what people can earn from various activities.
The Prime Minister has been criticised for his GST policy, saying that it was not implemented well and he wanted it to be more transparent.
Many economists have also said the Modi government has not done enough to boost economic growth.
“The Prime minister has made a statement of his intention to reduce the number of tax brackets and simplify the tax system and he has done so by increasing the taxes on the middle-income earners, which is why the GST rate is lower,” Sharma said.