Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday promised to bring all goods and services under one tax slab and levy GST on fuel prices if his party comes into power in 2019. Gandhi made the statement while addressing party workers in Jaipur, where he again criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Rafale defence deal, crimes against women, demonetisation and the farmer crisis.
“As soon as the Congress party wins the 2019 [Lok Sabha] elections, we will replace these five different tax slabs of Gabbar Singh Tax with one GST,” Gandhi said. “We will also bring diesel and petrol under the ambit of Goods and Services Tax, which will reduce inflation.”
The indirect tax system launched in July 2017 has five tax slabs: zero, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%.
Gandhi accused Narendra Modi of corruption in the Rafale defence deal with France, and asked him why his government gave the contract to a businessman whose company was under huge debt.
“When I raised the issue of Rafale scam and corruption in Parliament, PM Modi did not even spare a minute to answer my questions,” he said, referring to the discussion on a no-confidence motion against the government in the Lok Sabha last month. “Modiji went to France with Anil Ambani, who has not made an aircraft in his life but his only qualification is that he is Modiji’s friend.”
He attacked the government for not giving crop loan waivers to farmers, who he said were committing suicide all over the country. “In the last two years, the Modi government waived loans worth Rs 2 lakh crore of only 15 businessmen. I asked for loan waivers for farmers, too. But his response was, silence. Have you ever seen Modi hug a farmer? That cannot happen ever. It is called non-performing assets in case of billionaires, but small farmers are called defaulters.”
Gandhi also spoke about unemployment and the safety of women. “In Uttar Pradesh, a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA rapes a woman, and instead of protecting the woman, the BJP government supports rapists and no word comes out of Modi’s mouth.”
He claimed that the ruling party wants to advance next year’s elections as they are insecure.
Gandhi was in Jaipur to review preparations for the upcoming Assembly elections in Rajasthan. He held a roadshow and visited two temples earlier in the day.
Gandhi was in Raipur on Friday, where he accused the Centre of using the “lie and encourage others to lie” model. Elections are due later this year in both Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.