Just two after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the GST framework is moving towards single standard rate, veteran Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday raised questions on what’s leading to this change in government’s stance. “Until yesterday a single standard rate of GST was a stupid idea. Since yesterday, it is the declared goal of the government!”, former Finance Minister said in a series of tweets.
“Until yesterday capping GST at 18 per cent was impracticable. Since yesterday, the Congress party’s original demand of an 18 per cent cap is the declared goal of the government!”, he added.
“Until yesterday, the Chief Economic Adviser’s RNR report to fix the standard rate at 15 per cent was in the dustbin. Yesterday it was retrieved and placed on the FM’s table and was promptly accepted!” the senior Congress leader said.
Earlier on Monday this week, Arun Jaitley had said in a Facebook post that even as the government is close to completing the first stage of rate rationalisation, 28 per cent GST slab may be phased out soon except few items. The government is now working towards a future road map of achieving a single standard GST rate which would be a midpoint of 12 per cent and 18 per cent, Finance Minister had said.
With an exception of luxury and sin goods, the government finally aims to have GST slabs of 0 per cent and 5 percent, he had also noted. “The country should eventually have a GST which will have only slabs of zero, 5% and standard rate with luxury and sin goods as an exception,” Arun Jaitley had said.