[India], Oct. 18 (ANI): Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday urged the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council to set a tax rate at 18 percent or lower so that the poor are not unduly burdened. “As an indirect tax GST affects rich and poor alike. I urge GST Council to keep the rate at 18 percent or lower so that the poor are not unduly burdened!,” Gandhi tweeted. “Since 2005, Congress Party has wanted a GST that is not only pro-industry and pro-trade but also non-inflationary for common people especially the poor,” he said in another tweet.
The GST Council will meet later in the day, where a decision is likely to be taken on the tax rate and to sort out other issues like the compensation formula to be adopted for the rollout of the new indirect tax regime from April 1 next year. The GST Council, which is a joint forum of the Central Government and states, will also deliberate on the vexed issue of the Centre retaining power to assess 11 lakh service tax filers under the new dispensation. At its previous meeting last month, the GST Council had approved five sets of draft rules.
The draft rules are related to registration, payment, refund, returns and invoices of debit and credit notes. The GST Council had finalised area-based exemptions and how 11 states, mostly in the North-East and hilly regions, will be treated under the new tax regime. The Union Finance Ministry will try and reach a consensus on the key issues so that the subsequent central GST and integrated GST legislations can be introduced during the month-long Winter Session of Parliament beginning on November 16.