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KCR’s accusations on GST not proper: Dattatreya

Hyderabad: Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya today took exception to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s accusations that the Centre was taking unilateral decisions on GST, saying it was not proper to make false allegations.

Expressing his disappointment on imposition of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on all the ongoing projects in the state, Rao had yesterday accused the Centre of taking “unilateral decisions” on GST.

The Union Labour minister today said it was not proper to make false allegations and asserted that the Centre never resorts to unilateral decisions and it was wrong to blame the central government.

“The CM’s accusation that central government is taking unilateral decisions on GST is not correct…GST comes under the federal structure and all the states are part of the GST Council. In fact, the states have more say than the Centre in the Council,” he told reporters here.

Rao had objected to the Centre’s decision to reduce the tax rate on public works from 18 per cent to 12 per cent. He had “threatened” that the state government would engage in a “legal battle” against the union government over the issue.

Even as the GST Council yesterday conceded the state government’s demand partially and decided to reduce the tax from 18 per cent to 12 per cent on ongoing projects like irrigation, drinking water, road construction and housing schemes in Telangana, the state government sought reduction to 5 per cent.

According to the minister, rates on construction materials like cement and steel have come down besides the interest rates offered by banks have also reduced.

“Hence, overall expenses on public works will also come down. The chief minister coming to a conclusion and blaming the Centre is not good,” Dattatreya said.

The minister added he will also study the matter before meeting Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on the issues raised by the Telangana government.

On Opposition pushing some changes in the Constitution amendment bill on backward classes in Rajya Sabha recently, Dattatreya said the changes forced by the Congress exposed its “anti-backward mentality”.

“The Centre is committed to Constitutional amendment bill for backward classes and we will again get it passed in both the Houses of the Parliament,” the senior BJP leader said, adding, their party will also conduct conventions in all districts of Telangana over the attitude of Congress.

—PTI