- Rahul Gandhi's tweet comes after PM Modi simplified GST rules further
- PM Modi said 99% items will now be placed under the 18% tax slab
- He earlier called the rules Congress's 'Grand Stupid Thoughts'
After two days of insisting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is asleep, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi today claimed his party managed to wake him up over the flagship Goods and Services tax. In a flashback to the acronym war over GST that raged last year, Mr Gandhi, who once dubbed the flagship one tax regime "Gabbar Singh Tax" -- after the famous villain in Bollywood blockbuster Sholay -- hit back with the Prime Minister's version of it.
"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 then never Narendra Ji!" a tweet from him read.
Countering Mr Gandhi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tweeted that "a single slab GST argued by the Congress President is indeed a stupid Idea."
"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," Mr Jaitley said in another tweet.
Days after the BJP's electoral setback in the three heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, PM Modi announced a plan yesterday to simplify the one tax, which with its four slabs, has hugely confused traders.
Simplifying the rules further, PM Modi said 99 per cent items will now be placed under the 18 per cent tax slab.
Last year, in the run-up to the Gujarat elections, the Prime Minister had criticized Mr Gandhi, saying a "recently emerged economist" was propagating a "Grand Stupid Thought" by suggesting that the GST rate should be capped at 18 per cent.
"Under their Grand Stupid Thoughts, they want basic necessities of the poor to be taxed at 18%.
At the same time they want cigarettes and alcohol to be cheaper. What logic is this?" PM Modi had said.
About Mr Gandhi's acronym - Gabbar Singh Tax - he said those who looted India all their lives can remember only dacoits.
After the Prime Minister's yesterday's announcement about an 18 per cent cap, Congress's former finance minister P Chidambaram was the first to hit back.
"Government says 99% of goods will be at 18 per cent GST. Belated wisdom. We should have started with 18 per cent as the standard rate. Having scrambled the egg needlessly when GST was introduced, Government is trying to unscramble it! Typical of NDA," his tweet read.
"BJP/NDA governance mantra is 'Leap before you look'. Which is the reason for the damage caused by GST to businesses, especially MSMEs," he added.
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