Tamil Nadu

‘Centre looking to jack up GST rates to meet budgetary deficit’

P. Chidambaram

P. Chidambaram  

Govt. stifling voice of freedom, avoiding discussion on serious issues: Chidambaram

Former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday accused the Central government of seeking to hike Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates to meet the budgetary deficit.

“An increase in the tax rates on goods being bought by the poor and the middle class is going to be approved during the next meeting of the GST Council,” he claimed. “No one can ever wage a bigger war against the economy and the people of the country than this,” the former Union Minister said, addressing a meeting at the Satyamurti Bhavan, the headquarters of the State unit of the Congress.

Earlier in the day, when he reached the city, Mr. Chidambaram, who secured bail from the Supreme Court in the INX Media ‘money-laundering’ case a few days ago after being incarcerated for over 100 days, was given a reception at the airport.

While the Central government “took away” about ₹1.75 lakh crore from the reserves of the Reserve Bank of India, it provided tax concessions to the tune of nearly ₹1.5 lakh crore to 800 capitalists, he said.

He accused the BJP government at the Centre of attempting to “stifle the voice of freedom” and avert discussions on serious issues being faced by the country’s economy. Every Congress legislator should highlight such issues in public fora, he said.

Quoting a song of Tamil nationalist poet Subramania Bharati, Mr. Chidambaram said the BJP-led Central government will never be able to “overpower him”, as he had the backing of the rank and file of the Congress party. He lamented that while onions were being sold for ₹200 a kg in Delhi, farmers growing the crop in Maharashtra were getting only ₹7 per kg.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri said Mr. Chidambaram had come out of jail as a “rejuvenated leader”. The Congress national secretary in charge of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, Sanjay Dutt, described the BJP government at the Centre as a sinking ship, whose captain Narendra Modi was refusing to acknowledge the ‘disaster’ it was going to face.

Among those who addressed the meeting were Tiruvallur MP K. Jayakumar and TNCC spokesperson Americai V. Narayanan.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 2:41:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/centre-looking-to-jack-up-gst-rates-to-meet-budgetary-deficit/article30233546.ece

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