Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on 10 November said he is hopeful of a "shower of changes in GST rates" in lieu of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting in today.
The senior Congress Party leader took to twitter and said "Expect a shower of changes in GST rates from GST Council meeting today. Panic-stricken government has no option but to concede demands for change."
Citing the political tussle in poll-bound Gujarat, Chidambaram claimed that the government was "forced to heed advice of Opposition and experts on flaws in implementation of GST." Further, he claimed that debates on GST can no longer be avoided on a public domain, and the letter written by the Congress-ruled state finance ministers to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley would "set the tone for discussions" during the meeting.
"Congress FMs letter exposes the structural flaws in the design and implementation of GST. Government can no longer duck these issues. Congress FMs will force changes in GST Council meeting today. Agra, Surat, Tiruppur and other hub towns are watching," he tweeted.
On a related note, day two of the 23rd meeting of the GST Council is slated to be held later in the day in Guwahati and will be chaired by Finance Minister Jaitley.
Reports suggest that the council is likely to take up the issue of benami properties and inclusion of real estate under the GST ambit during the meeting. The council is also expected to review some items under the 28 percent tax slab, along with a review of slashing tax rates on restaurants and proposals on extended liberalisation of SMEs.