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GST rates slashed with eye on upcoming polls: Chidambaram

GST rates slashed with eye on upcoming polls: Chidambaram

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 22 Jul 2018, 12:41 pm

New Delhi, July 22 (IBNS): Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday attacked the Centre and said it slashed the GST rates on certain items by keeping the upcoming Assembly polls in mind.

"When elections are around the corner, government cuts rates. I suppose that makes a good case for frequent elections in different states," Chidambaram tweeted.

He said the current GST is in 'unreformed' nature.

"The present GST is still 'unreformed'. Government must notify three rates immediately and signal its intention to move to a single rate in the medium term. That will be true GST," he said.

He said: "There are many other lacunae in the GST law. I doubt if the government has the will or the skill to remove these lacunae."

Speaking further on the issue and attacking the Centre, the senior Congress leader said: "GST Council cuts rates on 100 items, approves quarterly returns. Belated wisdom. Why did Government not follow our advice in July 2017?."

In a bid to appeal the middle class and businessmen and with an eye on the Lok Sabha polls next year, the Indian government on Saturday slashed Goods and Services Tax rates on several products.

The GST Council's 28th meeting was held here under the Chairmanship of Piyush Goyal , Union Minister for Railways , Coal , Finance & Corporate Affairs, where a decision was taken to lower the tax slab on products such as paints, leather goods, bamboo flooring, stoves, televisions and washing machines from the highest rate of 28 percent to 18 percent.

The government also announced an exemption of sanitary napkins, rakhi from the GST, an attempt made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government before the 2019 general elections when it will seek its second term to power.

Sanitary napkins were earlier taxed at 12%.

The new tax rates will be applicable from July 27.