Congress would bring one GST slab, if voted to power, Rahul Gandhi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said if his party comes to power, it would impose one slab of Goods and Services Tax instead of five and abolish the 28 percent GST slab.

During an interaction with students at Maharani's  College here, Afreen, a student, asked the Congress chief why there was free health care in Singapore though they have one GST slab of seven percent, which India lacks despite having 28 per cent GST.

Replying to her, Gandhi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be better positioned to answer.

He, however, told her that Congress favoured one GST as multiple slabs encourage corruption.

Gandhi said his party's position on GST was very clear.

"GST is basically the Congress party's idea but our thinking was that as in Singapore there is one GST of seven percent, similarly there should be  one tax but BJP government imposed five different slabs. They  have a tax of 28 percent too," he said.

"We are absolutely against the 28 percent tax," he said.

"Our system was that the products used by weaker sections should be kept out of the purview of GST and then have one tax for all."

"So, in terms of conceptualisation, there is a difference between their (BJP's) GST and our (Congress) GST. If our government comes to power, we will abolish 28 percent GST and impose one GST across India," Gandhi said.

He claimed that the existing GST encourages corruption and alleged that the government would use it to favour or hurt any  businessman.

"If you do a five-layered GST, you will not have GST, you will have a Gabbar Singh Tax.What it means is there will be extortion and there will be a lot of mischiefs to decide which bracket what product should go," Gandhi said.

The Congress president accused Modi of doing nothing to bring back black money stashed abroad.

He said the Centre was having the list of those who have accounts in Swiss Banks but it is reluctant to table in Parliament the list of black money hoarders.

The government's focus should not be five percent of cash stashed abroad but the focus should be Swiss Bank, gold and real estate, the Congress president said.

Gandhi said transparency alone can check corruption and black money and the Congress government had taken certain steps like Right to Information.

He said defaulters like Nirav Modi and others were getting exposed because of transparency, empowering citizens, Panchayati Raj, Lokpal and decentralization of power.  

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