New Delhi, August 2, 2017
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Wednesday hit out at Opposition parties demanding a single rate for the Goods and Services Tax saying the single slab argument was anti-poor.
“Those who are advocating for single tax slab have learnt it from some western nation where there is no BPL population. Single tax slab is an argument against the poor and only for the wealthy, Jaitley said in Lok Sabha replying to the discussion on Integrated GST (Extension to J&K) Bill 2017 and Central GST (Extension to J&K) Bill. The bills were later passed by a voice vote.
Jaitley said it was a positive step that Jammu and Kashmir have been integrated with GST and the dream of one tax regime is now met. The bills are aimed at giving effect to the formal amendments required in CGST and IGST Acts by removing the exemption that was carved out for Jammu and Kashmir.
The GST was rolled out on July one all over the country except J&K where the assembly passed a resolution adopting the constitutional amendment only on July 5 and it was implemented from July 8.
The finance minister also sought to set at rest the argument against sanitary napkins costing more in GST regime. He said sanitary napkins made in India by self-help groups are taxed zero, those made by the medium-range manufacturer at taxed at 2 % and only those by big manufacturers are taxed at12%.
In the absence of GST, given the taxes on inputs and intermediate products, locally-made sanitary pads could lose the edge to Chinese imports, Jaitley said.
[The Deccan Herald]