New Delhi: Former finance minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday joined Congress President Rahul Gandhi in endorsing the idea of having a single rate in the Goods and Services Tax (GST), while criticising the BJP's initial idea of having 8 rates as 'stupid'.
Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, Chidambaram made a slew of tweets and wrote, "When the Congress President said -- as I have said -- GST should be a single rate, it means that the standard rate of GST should be a single rate. That's absolutely correct."
"As Dr Arvind Subramanian's RNR report pointed out, when there is a standard rate there will also be a standard-minus rate and a standard-plus rate. That's elementary, not stupid," he added.
A twitter war has started between Congress and BJP, since after Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday indicated that the 28 per cent slab of GST will soon only be restricted to a few select commodities, such as luxury items.
Following the remarks by Prime Minister, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday tweeted, "The Congress Party has finally jolted Narendra Ji from his deep slumber on Gabbar Singh Tax. Though still drowsy, he now wants to implement what he had earlier called the Congress Party's, "Grand Stupid Thought". Better late than never Narendra Ji!"
This was followed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley taking a dig at UPA's 'legacy of higher indirect tax on most items', and terming Congress President's idea of the single slab as 'stupid'.
"A single slab GST argued by the Congress President is indeed a stupid Idea. Luxury and sin items can't be taxed at the same rate as the common man's item. The UPA had left behind a legacy of 31% indirect Tax on most items. The GST has already reduced 334 items to 12% and 18% slab. Wasn't the 31% Tax an oppressive idea- a stupid one at that," Jaitley tweeted.
However, Chidambaram on Friday also took a potshot at Jaitley's assertions, while outlining that filing GST returns has been a 'nightmare' in the last 18 months.
"The stupid idea was the BJP's idea of having 8 rates when GST was first implemented in July 2017! If the GST Council will discuss tomorrow 'Ease of filing returns', is that an admission that filing returns has not been easy in the last 18 months? The truth is filing GST returns has been a nightmare," he wrote.
The 31st Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting will be held on December 22 in the national capital.
The agenda for the meeting has not been made official yet. However, topics such as simplified returns, completely online refunds process are likely to be discussed in the meeting....