New Delhi, Nov 10: Former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha has been an open critic of Arun Jaitley and on Friday he launched yet another bout of stinging criticism against him. While describing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as a “total mess”, Yashwant Sinha said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should replace Jaitley with “someone more competent”.

Yashwant Sinha, who headed the finance department in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, said the problem with GST can’t be resolved by “tinkering”. Sinha was referring to the decision of the GST Council to reduce tax rate on a wide range of mass use items – from chewing gums to detergents – to 18 per cent from current 28 per cent.

“Arun Jaitley as Union Finance Minister should have taken a lead role in implementing GST nationally. The structure of GST today is filled with errors and therefore everyday GST council is making amendments. I think while formulating GST, Arun Jaitley did not apply his mind. PM should replace Jaitley with another competent person,” Yashwant Sinha said.

Goods And Services Tax: Full Coverage

“Arun Jaitley has done a complete mess with GST today. Changing tax rates will not help,” he added.

The all-powerful GST council pruned the list of items attracting the top 28 per cent tax rate to just 50 from 227 previously, Bihar Deputy CM sushil Kumar Modi told reporters in Guwahati.

In effect, the council, in its 23rd meet Friday, cut rates on 177 goods. (Also Read: New GST Rates: List of Commodities That Have Gone Cheaper)

Facing intense heat from opposition-ruled states over keeping mass used goods in the 28 per cent bracket which was meant for luxury and de-merit goods, the Council pruned the list to 50 as against 62 that was recommended by the committee.

Arun Jaitley-Yashwant Sinha Duel

Yashwant Sinha had been continuously targeting the Modi government over its handling of the economy.

“The prime minister claims that he has seen poverty from close quarters. His finance minister is working over-time to make sure that all Indians also see it from equally close quarters,” Sinha wrote in an article recently.

“Probably, a more appropriate title for the book would have been ‘India @70, Modi @3.5 and a job applicant @ 80,” Jaitley had shot back at Yashwant Sinha during a book launch event in New Delhi recently.