Rajasthan CM Gehlot and Chh'garh CM Baghel slam Centre for keeping Cong-ruled states out of GST GoM

Both the chief ministers opined that it was against the spirit of cooperative federalism

Rajasthan CM Gehlot and Chh'garh CM Baghel slam Centre for keeping Cong-ruled states out of GST GoM

NH Web Desk

The Chief Ministers of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh have slammed the Central government for not including Congress members in the Group of Ministers (GoM) formed after the GST Council meet on May 28.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday alleged that a deliberate attempt was made to keep the opposition Congress out of the Group of Ministers (GoM).

"Congress has three members in the GST Council. A deliberate attempt has been made to keep the principal Opposition party, the Congress, out of GoM set up by the Centre after council meet on May 28," Gehlot said in a tweet.

He said only the BJP has more members in the GST Council. Keeping out the Congress members is most unfortunate and strikes at the very roots of cooperative federalism, he added.

Gehlot further said it is pertinent to mention that none has been included in the GoM from the states of West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. These are the states who had taken a stand contrary to that of proposed agenda.

"We request the eight members of the GoM to reflect on the exclusion of the Congress Finance ministers before they proceed with their deliberations. We also urge the members of GoM to take into account views expressed by Rajasthan and other mentioned states, wherein we had asked for Zero Tax Rate for Covid-related supplies in public interest," Gehlot said.

Taking exception to the composition of a group of ministers by the GST Council to decide on tax exemption for essential goods related to coronavirus, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Tuesday termed the non-inclusion of members of Congress-ruled states in the panel "against the spirit of cooperative federalism".

"The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has constituted an eight-member panel of ministers, which does not include any member from Congress-ruled states, for exemption from tax on essential goods related to Corona," he said, demanding ministers from Congress-ruled states, who are part of the GST Council, be included in the GoM constituted to discuss the GST rates on COVID relief material.

"It is unfortunate not to include any members of Congress-ruled states and is against the spirit of cooperative federalism," Baghel said.

For some days now, the Congress has been continuously demanding exemption of GST on vaccines, medicines and other devices to effectively combat the Covid pandemic at all levels.

In the meeting of the GST Council also, the Congress-ruled states had proposed a relaxation of GST in this regard to 0.1 per cent rate instead of 5 per cent. An eight-member committee was constituted by the chairman of the GST Council to look into the matter when no consensus was achieved.

Baghel claimed that not a single Congress-ruled state's minister has been made a member in the committee "deliberately" so that this demand is not considered.

With agencies inputs

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