Senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia on Sunday pitched for a lower rate of the proposed GST to check inflationary pressures, saying a higher rate will have “serious implications” for the common man. “The rate of GST must be kept low to check inflationary pressure. The higher GST rate will further burden common man, especially the poor, and we are against it,” he told media. Congress has been emphasising on capping GST rate at a maximum of 18 per cent.
Scindia said in other developing nations such taxes are levied at the rate of 16 and 16.5 per cent. “If you keep very high rate it will have serious implications,” he said. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a single indirect tax which will subsume most of the central and state taxes such as Value Added Tax (VAT), excise duty, service tax, central sales tax, additional customs duty and special additional duty of customs.
A GST Council, which will be set up by the government after a Constitution Amendment Bill ratified by 17 state assemblies gets President Pranab Mukherjee’s nod, will decide the tax rate, cess and surcharges which are to be subsumed and also the goods and services which would be exempted from the purview of the new indirect tax regime.
Since Parliament passed the Constitution Amendment Bill on August 8, as many as 17 states, starting with BJP-ruled Assam, have already ratified the bill. A Constitution Amendment needs to be ratified by the Legislative Assemblies of at least 50 per cent of the states.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had on Thursday said the government will now seek the President’s assent to the bill. Union Finance Minister will head the GST Council, which will comprise state Finance Ministers. The government plans to roll out the new indirect tax regime from April 1 next year.