Kaithal: The Congress today dubbed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as “extremely tedious” for traders and sought lowering of the highest tax slab to 18 per cent.
Speaking at a ‘Traders Sammelan’ here, AICC spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala noted that in the name of ‘One Nation, One Tax’, the present GST brought by the BJP was “extremely tedious” with seven-tier tax structure (0.25 per cent, 3 per cent, 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent, 28 per cent, 40 per cent).
“It will hit the livelihood of shopkeepers, traders, micro and small businesses, farmers and common man,” he said.
On top of it, state governments have the discretion to impose additional taxes in different shapes, as has been done recently by the governments of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra by imposing Vehicle Registration Tax and Entertainment Tax on Cinemas, he said.
Surjewala said Congress, on the other hand, was committed to one tax rate (with three slabs) with a cap of 18 per cent.
“UPA’s GST was simple and transparent with a cap of 18 per cent as the highest rate slab, while BJP’s GST is exactly the opposite,” he said.
The senior Congress leader also demanded the Centre to justify the excessive taxation on several items.
“Does it make sense to tax mineral water at 18 per cent even when caviar and prawns are taxed at 12 per cent or exotic imported fruits and vegetables at zero per cent,” he asked.
Surjewala also questioned the GST on man-made fiber and yarn, dyeing and printing and embroidery at 18 per cent, while the “rate of the end product is only five per cent”.