Rahul Gandhi says Congress will bring one GST, abolish 28 percent slab if voted to power

Mysuru: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said if his party comes to power, it would impose one slab of Goods and Services Tax instead of five and abolish the 28 percent GST slab.

During an interaction with students at Maharani's College here in Karnataka, Afreen, a student, asked the Congress chief why there was free healthcare in Singapore though they have one GST slab of 7 percent, but India lacks despite having 28 per cent GST.

File image of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Twitter@INCIndia

File image of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Twitter@INCIndia

Gandhi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be better positioned to answer the question. He, however, told her that the Congress favoured one GST as multiple slabs encourage corruption. Gandhi said his party's position on GST was very clear.

"GST is basically the Congress party's idea but our thinking was that as in Singapore there is one GST of 7 percent. Similarly, there should be one tax but the BJP government imposed five different slabs. They have a tax of 28 percent too," he said.

"We are absolutely against the 28 percent tax," he said.

"Our system was that the products used by weaker sections should be kept out of the purview of GST and then have one tax for all."

"So, in terms of conceptualisation, there is a difference between their GST and our GST. If our government comes to power, we will abolish 28 per cent GST and impose one GST across India," Gandhi said.

He claimed that the existing GST encourages corruption and alleged that the government would use it to favour or hurt any businessman.

"If you do a five-layered GST, you will not have GST,  you will have a Gabbar Singh Tax. What it means is there will be extortion and there will be a lot of mischief to decide which bracket what product should go," Gandhi said.

The Congress president accused Modi of doing nothing to bring back black money stashed abroad.

He said the Centre was having the list of those who have accounts in Swiss Banks but it is reluctant to table in Parliament the list of black money hoarders.

The government's focus should not be 5 percent of cash stashed abroad but the focus should be Swiss Bank, gold and real estate, the Congress president said.

Gandhi said transparency alone can check corruption and black money and the Congress government had taken certain steps like Right to Information.

He said defaulters like Nirav Modi and others were getting exposed because of transparency, empowering citizens, Panchayati Raj, Lokpal and decentralisation of power.

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Updated Date: Mar 24, 2018 20:12:39 IST

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