Include petroleum products, real estate under GST, says Congress

At Thursday’s meeting Congress claims that the government will change the GST law which requires Constitutional amendments

At Thursday’s meeting Congress claims that the government will change the GST law which requires Constitutional amendments

The Congress will once again press for bringing the real estate and the petroleum products under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) ambit at a GST Council meeting on Thursday. Thursday's meeting has an agenda running into over 320 pages, of which 80 pages were sent to state finance ministers barely 24 hours before the meeting, allowing little time for them to study the proposals, Punjab Finance Minister said on Wednesday. Badal said the case of GST roll-out was akin to somebody having erected a house that is full of flaws, and a mason needs to be called daily to fix something or the other.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi had made a similar demand on October 6 a year ago when in a series of tweets he urged the government to bring petroleum products under the GST regime to prevent excessive profiteering from the common man.

He said the GST was projected to usher in growth in both GDP and government revenues, bring down prices and bring simplicity in the tax compliances, but its flawed implementation has resulted in fall in both GDP and revenue, inflation is rising and there is near furore relating to complexities in compliance.

Badal accused the BJP-led NDA government of "profiteering at the expense" of the common man. "Petrol and diesel prices are skyrocketing".

He said there are multiple taxes on petroleum.

As for the e-way bill system, he said the government was rolling it out on February 1 without any preparedness on the application programming interface (API) that will help taxpayers to align their software.

He also expressed Congress' opposition to the government's plan to introduce E-way Bills "without adequate preparation". "I have not attended a single meeting of the so far where the agenda papers were not running into a few hundreds".

"The Congress will be suggesting two things - one is that petroleum and real estate be brought under the GST ambit, and second, the drastic and huge changes to... the law should be withheld till certain stakeholders are consulted", he said.

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