Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Chidambaram on GST rates cuts

Calling it a victory for himself and the Congress, Chidambaram tweeted, "Congress is vindicated".

In effect, the Council, in its 23rd meet on Friday, cut rates on 178 goods. Your elections did what Parliament and common sense could not do ...

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After a day-long GST council meeting with state finance minister in Guwahati, Mr Jaitley said that only 50 items will remain in the highest tax slab of 28 per cent, with 178 others moved to the 18 per cent bracket from November 15. "Now, they can not avoid a debate in public domain or in the GST Council", Chidambaram tweeted. Congress party's next goal will be to push for one rate: "RNR with an RNR plus and an RNR minus".

In a statement, DMK Working President said the tax rates were altered only with Gujarat Assembly elections in mind and asked the Government to follow the advice of its Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian who had advocated capping of GST rates at 18 per cent. He also said public participation was at the core of the government's functioning and that all its decisions were "people-friendly and people-centric". "Hinting that the BJP government has timed the GST review with an eye on next month's crucial elections in Gujarat where small traders are upset over the new tax, Mr Chidambaram said ".Your (Gujarat) elections did what Parliament and common sense could not do". "This is not the GST which we (the UPA) had envisaged", he said.

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The Congress party, which lampooned the Finance Ministry for taking four months to cut rates of Goods and Services Tax, has now set its sights on pushing for one slab.

Former Finance Minster P Chidambaram in a late-night sarcastic tweet said the Modi government had "learnt its lesson belatedly" and that the Congress and he stood "vindicated" after the Goods and Services Tax Council today massively pruned the list of products attracting 28 per cent tax. Gowda on Thursday reiterated that he had been arguing for lowering of tax rates for items of home construction and restaurants. "This is typical of the Congress's pettiness and pusillanimity".

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