The Congress on Wednesday said its finance ministers on Thursday will demand inclusion of real estate and petroleum products under the goods and service tax (GST) ambit and cautioned the government against rushing the e-way bill system for inter-state movement of goods in a hurry.
GST Council will meet on Thursday.
Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal said almost all the claims made by the NDA government while rolling out the GST have fallen flat. “The GST was projected to usher in growth and revenues, bring simplicity in compliances and bring down the prices…. GDP has fallen, revenues have shown an alarming fall, inflation is rising and there is near furore relating to complexities in compliances,” he said.
“When you build a flawed house, you end up sending for the mason every day,” he said. Badal said that at Thursday’s meeting, the Congress ministers would forcefully argue on bringing petroleum products and real estate under the ambit of GST.
“Petrol and diesel prices are skyrocketing. The Narendra Modi government is profiteering at the expense of the common man. To provide relief to the consumers, petroleum prices should be brought under the GST,” he said.
As for the e-way bill system, he said the government was rolling it out on February 1 without any preparedness on the application programming interface (API) that will help taxpayers to align their software. “We are not against the introduction of e-way bills, but it should not be introduced without adequate preparedness,” he said.
He said the agenda papers circulated for the GST council meetings are never less than 200 pages. “This time it is 350 pages. Eighty pages came this morning. I can confidently say that none of those who have received the agenda papers have been able to read it fully… and we are supposed to actually pass it,” he said. He said no legislation should be passed without consultation with all stakeholders.
“The Congress will be suggesting two things — one is that petroleum and real estate be brought under the GST ambit, and second, the drastic and huge changes to… the law should be withheld till certain stakeholders are consulted,” he said.