New GST if voted to power: Congress

New GST if voted to power: Congress

Booklets on GST (Goods and Services Tax). PTI file photo

The Congress on Tuesday said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime rolled out by the Modi government was beyond repair and it would bring new generation GST if voted to power in the Lok Sabha elections next year.

“This (current GST) is beyond repair. This is the reality. You just have to bring in a new generation GST. If voted to power in 2019, Congress will bring in GST-II,” senior Congress leader and Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal told a press conference at the AICC Headquarters here.

Badal said there was a need to have simpler compliance procedures in the GST which the current indirect tax regime was devoid of.

Moreover, the current GST regime has been changed more than 1,000 times in the span of 17 months, Badal said adding that only a revamped GST Version II was the answer to set things right.

“Rather than fixing the design and operational flaws of the GST, BJP tried another patchwork this time to throw an easy bait as a last ditch effort to please the voters,” Badal said referring to GST Council Meeting on Saturday that decided to lower taxes on 23 items.

Badal said practically the entire agenda presented at the meeting was passed by the opposition despite it being made available at the last minute and rubbished the BJP charge that the Congress had delayed a decision to lower GST slabs on certain items.

According to the Congress, the new GST should have four distinct features — the simplified procedure to file returns, a mix of computerised and manual option for filing returns, easy forms such as the Saral forms for IT returns, and fewer tax slabs.

Congress leaders said greater levies could be applied on sin goods or luxury items through the imposition of cess over and above the GST tax slabs.

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