• Notification Date: 26-04-2023
  • Notification No: N/A

'Will change GST structure if...': Rahul Gandhi's Big Poll Promise in Karnataka

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Monday promised to change the structure of Goods and Services Tax (GST) if his party was elected to power in Delhi. He said the GST had been brought only to help the influential and it was so complicated that many didn't understand it at all. "Small businesses have been shut. We will change this GST if we come to power in Delhi. There will be one tax and it will be a minimum," Rahul Gandhi said while addressing a rally in poll-bound Karnataka. 

The Congress party has been calling for the restructuring of GST, with fewer tax slabs. Last year, former finance minister P Chidambaram said the GST had serious "birth defects" which became only worse over the last five years. He said the manner of their implementation had "wrecked the economy" and Congress would work toward its replacement by GST 2.0. 

Chidambaram, who has served as finance minister four times, said the so-called GST that is in force today was not the GST envisaged by the UPA government. "The GST that we have today is a complex web of many rates, conditions, exceptions and exemptions that will leave even an informed taxpayer completely bewildered. Not all registered dealers are informed taxpayers; as a result, they are at the mercy of the tax collector," he had said. 

Today, Rahul Gandhi said his party, if elected to power, would restructure the tax system and there would be one tax. Currently, GST has four tax slabs: 5, 12, 18, and 28 per cent. Congress wants one tax slab with a maximum 18 per cent. 

Gandhi slammed the central government saying it was ignoring the plight of the farmers. He claimed that the focus of the government was on one or two industrialists these days and that must change for farmers to benefit. "Today Adani and Ambani have thousands of crores in bank loans, and they easily get loans when they go to the banks. Their loans are easily waved off but not for poor farmers. So, I am saying there must be parity. If you wave off loans of big industrialists, then wave off loans of farmers, too," Gandhi said. 

Addressing the sugarcane farmers in Benlagavi’s Ramdurg, the former Congress chief said if his party comes to power in the state, it will have better rates worked out for the farmers. "It’s true that the right rates aren't given to you. Inflation is rising. Prices of gas cylinders and fuel are rising, and you get little in your pocket. Farmers won't get relief with just one job. We must increase the rates and better you're marketing as well," he said. Karnataka will vote in a single phase on May 10 and results will be announced on May 13.