Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday released the 55-page manifesto of the Congress party for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and spoke about bringing simplicity, progressivity and transparency in the country's tax regime. Regarding GST, the Congress Party, in its manifesto, said that it will review and replace the current GST laws with the GST 2.0 regime that will "truly reflect the intent and purpose of a non-cascading, value-added, indirect tax."
Here are the key points that sets GST 2.0 apart from Modi's GST:
- The GST 2.0 regime will be based on a single, moderate, standard rate of tax on all goods and services. The rate will be revenue neutral to the current indirect tax revenues of the Central and State Governments and will take note of the potential of GST 2.0 to boost tax revenues.
- Congress promised that Real Estate (all sectors), Petroleum Products, Tobacco and Liquor will be brought within the ambit of GST 2.0 in a manner and time period not exceeding 2 years agreed to in the GST Council.
- Essential goods of mass consumption (such as food grains, lifesaving drugs, vaccines, etc.) and essential services will be exempted from GST 2.0.
- Congress said that the GST 2.0 will be easy to understand and easy to comply with.
- In its manifesto, Congress said that threshold exemption for small businesses will not be affected by inter-state supply of goods or services.
- Congress manifesto said that there will be no GST liability on the purchaser through the reverse charge mechanism.
- Congress also promised to abolish the e-way bill and allocate a share of GST revenues to Panchayats and Municipalities.
- Congress, in its manifesto, promised that a taxpayer will be required to file a simple, single quarterly return for his/ her business and an annual return.
- According to the Congress' manifesto, the GST Council will be the policy-making body and will be served by a permanent secretariat of tax economists, tax policy experts and tax professionals.
- Congress manifesto also stated that the DTC and GST 2.0 will be essentially civil laws and any violations will attract civil penalties that will be proportionate to the tax evaded.
Edited By: Udit Verma