Congress leader P Chidambaram has said the government fixed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) “mess it created” after his party’s finance ministers in six states stepped in at the meeting of the GST Council.
The former finance minister’s comments came a day after the GST Council announced a change in GST rules raising the exemption limit for small businesses ahead of the Lok Sabha election later this year.
The council doubled the exemption threshold from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 40 lakh and raised the limit for availing the composition scheme to Rs 1.5 crore from the present level of Rs. 1 crore. The change will come into effect in April and could help at least two million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and small companies.
“GST Council is sorting out the mess created by the government, thanks to the active participation and wise advice of six Congress State Finance Ministers. Decisions taken yesterday were largely because of the initiative taken by the Congress finance ministers,” Chidambaram said in a series of tweets on Friday.
“The MSME sector has got some relief thanks to the role played by the Congress finance ministers,” he said.
Announcing the decisions after the GST Council meeting, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley ruled out any further cuts in tax rates and said: “reductions will be made only when revenues move up”.
The decision comes after Prime Minister Modi said his government was planning to simplify the GST, first introduced in July 2017 with the aim of replacing more than a dozen federal and state levies.
The introduction of a national sales tax improved economic efficiency and is helping to unify the country’s sprawling domestic market, but small businesses say the complexities of the new system have driven many out of business and forced hundreds of thousands out of a job.
(With agency inputs)
First Published: Jan 11, 2019 13:21 IST