Scope for more GST rate cuts; ‘juvenile’ to link it with polls: Jaitley

TIL Desk/Business/New Delhi/ Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday debunked Congress’ claim that it forced the government to lower tax on over 200 goods, saying rationalisation of rates was in works for 3-4 months and it is ‘juvenile politics’ to link it to any election or political demand.

Rejecting Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s demand for a single rate of tax, he said there is scope for further rationalisation of rate but the course will be decided by revenues that accrue from the Goods and Services Tax that was implemented from July this year.

“This rationalisation is 3-4 month exercise,” he said, adding that the GST Council decided on the rate cut on the recommendation of a Fitment Committee. The decisions in the GST Council are ‘all consensus decisions’, he said. “This is really juvenile politics to link it with either elections or political demands”.

The GST Council, which Jaitley heads, had last week brought down tax rate on 178 products from 28 per cent to 18 per cent and pushed down several others in lower bracket. The Congress, which has made high tax rates and increased compliance burden in the GST regime an election issue in the run up to the assembly elections in Gujarat, claimed credit for the move.

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