In a retort to Rahul Gandhi's jibe terming the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as 'Gabbar Singh Tax', Union minister Giriraj Singh on Friday said the body language of the Congress leader resembled that of Gabbar Singh, the tobacco-chewing dacoit made famous by actor Amjad Khan in film 'Sholay'.
Last month, Rahul Gandhi had lashed out at the Modi government, calling the GST - 'Gabbar Singh Tax', meant to extort money from people."Some people are making a hue and cry. The prince (Rahul) is saying that this is 'Gabbar Singh GST'. This is not Gabbar Singh tax. You are making a mistake. Your language resembles that of Gabbar Singh. Your body language resembles that of Gabbar Singh," Singh said.
The Union Minister of State (independent charge) for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) was addressing a convention of small and medium entrepreneurs at Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.
"Behind closed doors, your finance ministers (of Congress ruled states) extend support to the GST, but outside, you term it as Gabbar Singh Tax. These are double standards," he said.Singh said the concerns of the business community were being addressed by the government.
In a tweet last week, Gandhi stated, "We will not allow BJP to impose a Gabbar Singh Tax on India. They cannot break the back of the small and medium businesses, crush the informal sector and destroy millions of jobs."
The Congress vice president repeated his jibe at election rallies in Gujarat.Singh claimed that MSME sector provided jobs to around 10 crore youth. 80 per cent of jobs, he said, were provided by the small and medium businesses with only 20 per cent of total investment, while 80 per cent money was invested in big businesses that employed only 20 per cent of the industrial work force.
Singh defended demonetisation, and said despite facing problems people's faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi remained unshaken.
"(BR) Ambedkar had also suggested that currency should be demonetised every 10 years. But Indira Gandhi (former prime minister) could not dare to demonetise the currency," he added.
In his address, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the US adopted talent from across the world and that led to its success.
"If there were no Indian doctors, half the US would remain ill," he said. At the convention, Chouhan announced sops for the state's MSMEs, including 40 per cent subsidy on the machinery required for setting up small-scale industries as the previous subsidy regime ended upon introduction of the GST.
He also said that the small-size plots would be provided to the MSMEs as per their need, besides simplification of other rules. A large number of small and medium-size entrepreneurs are attending the two-day convention.