Congress President Rahul Gandhi took to twitter on Sunday, taking a jibe at the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. Gandhi tweeted, “Modi ji, the terror of Gabbar Singh Tax is now globally acclaimed. The World Bank says it’s the 2nd HIGHEST in the WORLD and one of the MOST complex. ” Rahul was referring to a survey released by World Bank, which stated that Goods and Services Tax (GST) implemented by Modi government on July 1, 2017 is one of the most complex and the second highest tax rate in the world. A report on the study shared by Rahul said the World Bank carried out a survey of tax rate around the world and took samples of 115 countries, which have a similar indirect tax system.
The study showed that as many as 49 countries around the world has a single slab of goods and service tax while 28 countries use two slabs of GST. Only 5 countries including India use four slabs above 0 per cent tax. The countries in the four tax slab category are – Italy, Luxembourg, Pakistan and Ghana. In India, there are five different tax slabs – 0, 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%, thus making India the only country with most number of tax slabs.
The hassle of tax payments doesn’t end as vendors and customers have to remember separate tax cuts of different commodities. While gold is taxed at 3 per cent, precious stones at 0.25 per cent electricity duties, stamp duties on real estate, alcohol and petroleum products are exempted from GST and are taxed by the state government on their own accord.
Union Cabinet Minister of Textiles and Information & Broadcasting and BJP leader Smriti Irani condemned Gandhi’s tweet. She said that Rahul Gandhi’s hate for the nation is incomprehensible and pointed out his hypocrisy. She added that when World Bank released report of India’s Ease of Doing Business, Rahul rubbished the report but now has embraced a report released by the same organisation.
It is to be noted that FM Arun Jaitley has promised to reduce the number of slabs by merging 12 and 18 per cent slabs once tax compliance improves and revenue increases.