Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his remark that his government was working to bring most items under single slab GST, a long-standing demand the Congress party has been making since the rollout of the tax regime. Taking a jibe at Modi, Gandhi said that when the Congress party suggested this, the prime minister had called it a “Grand Stupid Thought” but now they want to implement it. “Better late than never,” he said. “The Congress Party has finally jolted Narendra Ji from his deep slumber on Gabbar Singh Tax. Though still drowsy, he now wants to implement what he had earlier called the Congress Party’s, “Grand Stupid Thought,” the Congress chief wrote on Twitter.
Since its implementation on the intervening night of June 30 and July 1, 2018, the Congress party and its president Rahul Gandhi has been demanding that there should not be any GST tax slab more than 18 per cent. However, the idea of the Congress chief was ignored by the BJP but now the saffron party is working towards making the GST as smooth as possible and bringing most items under the 18 per cent slab.
This was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Republic Summit in Mumbai. “Today, the GST system has been established to a large extent and we are working towards a position where 99 per cent items will attract the sub-18 per cent GST slab,” he said.
Modi indicated that the 28 per cent slab of GST would only be restricted to a few select items, such as luxury goods. “We are of the opinion of making GST as smooth as possible for the enterprises,” he added.
Reacting to the announcement which came days after the BJP’s humiliating defeat in the Assembly elections in three Hindi heartland states, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi called the Modi regime at the Centre a “government of hypocrites”. Singhvi asked whether the decision was taken after losing Assembly elections.
Former finance minister P Chidambaram termed the move "Belated wisdom". He said that the GST should have been launched with 18 per cent as the standard rate. "Having scrambled the egg needlessly when GST was introduced, Government is trying to unscramble it! Typical of NDA," Chidambaram tweeted.