Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today demanded that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate should be kept at 18 per cent or lower in order to protect the interests of the ‘poor’ people.
In a series of tweets today, Rahul reiterated that the Congress party has always advocated the need for GST to be “non-inflationary” in the interest of "common people".
"As an indirect tax GST affects rich and poor alike. I urge GST Council to keep the rate at 18 percent or lower so that the poor are not unduly burdened!," Gandhi tweeted.
As the GST Council begins its deliberations today I want to stress again that an 18% cap on the GST rate is in everybody's interest— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) October 18, 2016
"Since 2005, Congress Party has wanted a GST that is not only pro-industry and pro-trade but also non-inflationary for common people especially the poor," he added.
Since 2005, Congress Party has wanted a GST that is not only pro industry & pro trade but also non inflationary for common ppl esp the poor
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) October 18, 2016
Rahul Gandhi’s tweets come ahead of the GST Council meet slated to take place later in the day.
The GST Council, a joint forum of the central government and states, is likely to take a decision on the tax rate in today’s meeting. It is also expected to sort out other issues like the compensation formula to be adopted for the rollout of the new indirect tax regime from April 1 next year.
The GST Council meet is also likely to discuss the vexed issue of the Centre retaining power to assess 11 lakh service tax filers under the new dispensation.
The Council had approved five sets of draft rules relating to registration, payment, refund, returns and invoices of debit and credit notes during its previous meeting last month.
The Finance ministry hopes to evolve a consensus on the key issues so that the subsequent central GST and integrated GST legislations can be introduced during the month-long Winter Session of Parliament beginning November 16.