New Delhi, July 21: Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac on Saturday termed the GST Council's decision to cut rates on consumer durables as "undemocratic and non egalitarian" and said that instead the rates on daily necessities should have been reduced.
The GST Council, chaired by Union Finance Minister and comprising state finance ministers, today cut rates on 88 items. The decision also included rationalisation of the highest 28 per cent slab.
Isaac, who did not attend today's Council meeting, said that the rate cuts on consumer durable items betrays class bias of proponents and these items were not listed for rate reduction in the agenda note circulated ahead of the meeting.
"If anyone considered GST revenue buoyant enough to argue for a reduction in rates they should have reduced rates of the necessities. May be even made them tax free. But reducing the taxes for durables from GST 30-40 per cent to 18 per cent only betrays class bias of proponents," Isaac tweeted.
While addressing the press conference Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal had said every state wanted that the rates on these items be lowered so that the middle income households are benefitted.
"Today's rate reduction in some way or other impact 125 crore people of the country and it was the wish of every state that every citizen, especially poor and middle income households, felt that the GST council will give some relief with the improvement in tax collection and the acceptance of trade and industry," Goyal said.
He said it was decided that the GST Council will rise above revenue consideration and focus more on job creation and economic growth.
In another tweet, Isaac said: "It is most unfortunate that GST Council without circulating in the agenda notes should decide to reduce the tax on 18 consumer durables ie tv, fridge etc from 28 per cent to 18 per cent disregarding consequences to revenue and equity. Undemocratic and Non egalitarian".