It took 4 months for common sense to germinate on GST: Chidambaram

Chidambaram

Congress leaders on Saturday said their demand for making GST a simple tax has been vindicated.

In effect, the Council, in its 23rd meet on Friday, cut rates on 178 goods. "Thank you Gujarat. Your elections did what Parliament and common sense could not do (sic)", he wrote.

"The Government should announce that GST rates will be capped at 18 per cent at one go, instead of convening the GST Council every now and then reducing the tax rates", Stalin said in the statement. "The merit of capping GST at 18% is now recognised", he said.

After a day-long GST council meeting with state finance minister in Guwahati, Jaitley said that only 50 items will remain in the highest tax slab of 28 %, with 178 others moved to the 18% bracket from November 15.

As the decisions of the GST Council trickled in, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi asked the government to "correct the fundamental flaw in GST architecture to give India a genuine simple tax" and "don't waste India's time with lip service".

On the other hand, Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that, the Assam government has made a decision to introduce a chapter of GST in the textbooks of higher secondary level.

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Crediting his party the Congress for pushing for GST Rate cut, Chidambaram said "Congress is vindicated".

Chidambaram said the government avoided a debate and voting in the Rajya Sabha on GST Bills. The GST revision also brought relief for restaurants, with Jaitley saying that a uniform 5 per cent rate will be levied on all eateries, both air-conditioned and non-AC.

Earlier on July 6, Chidambaram maintained that the Modi government's GST was "very, very imperfect" and can not be called "one nation, one tax" as it has seven or more rates.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, addressing a press conference, said the government had distorted the noble idea of GST by hastily implementing it.

Veteran Congress leader P Chidambaram took a sly dig at the Narendra Modi government after the announcement of big changes in the rates for Goods and Services Tax. "This is typical of the Congress's pettiness and pusillanimity".

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