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Bring petroleum, real estate under GST ambit: Congress

By Newsd
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New Delhi: A day ahead of the GST Council meeting, the Congress on Wednesday reiterated its demand for including petroleum products and real estate under the ambit of GST and said the government must consult all stakeholders before bringing any changes in the pan-India indirect tax law.

“The Congress will demand that petroleum products and real estate be brought under the ambit of GST in the GST Council meeting tomorrow (Thursday),” Congress leader and Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal told media here.

He accused the Narendra Modi government of “profiteering at the expense of the common man”. “Thus to provide relief to the common man, petroleum products should be brought under the ambit of the GST,” he said.

Criticising the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the present form, the Congress leader said, “The flaws came in the GST as it was done in a hush-and-hurry. It happened because the government did not consult with all the stakeholders.”

Slamming the government over the “low revenue generation” after the implementation of the GST, Badal said, “Earlier it was said that after the implementation of GST the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) would increase, revenue collection would rise, filing returns would become simple and inflation would fall.

“But the experience so far indicates that the GDP has fallen, revenue collection has shown an alarming fall, inflation has risen and the filing of returns is still pending,” he said.

He alleged that in Thursday’s GST Council meeting the government is proposing to change the GST law, which would require Constitutional amendments.

“The kind of changes which have been brought in the last six months, it actually exceeds the total volume of GST law which was rolled out in July,” he said.

He said the GST revenue collection in November stood at Rs 80,000 crore, which was “lower than what we have been collecting earlier”.

“Moreover, the government is sitting over a pile of export funds which is close to Rs 75,000 crore. And once these are sanctioned the impact on revenues will be colossal which will shake the fragile confidence in the stability of the economy,” he warned.

Slamming the BJP government at the Centre, Badal said, “Modi government has unleashed one of the most complexes GSTs and trade have not been able to file even one full cycle of returns.

“The frequent revisions in the filing dates have completely shattered the faith in the sanctity of the GST reform,” he said.

He said the government is going to introduce the e-Way Bill in Thursday’s meeting, which it wants to implement from February 1.

“Till date, no one knows the APIs (Application Program Interface) of the e-Way bill and this is leading to chaos and negativity,” he said, adding, “We are not against the e-Way Bill, but it should not be introduced without proper preparation.”

He said the Congress’ GST model was better than the current GST brought by the BJP.