CM Baghel slams move to sideline Cong-ruled states

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Tuesday denounced the exclusion of Congress-ruled states from a Group of Ministers (GoM) to discuss GST exemption from tax on essential goods related to Covid-19, saying it violated cooperative federalism.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has constituted an eight-member panel of Ministers. It does not include any member from Congress-ruled states.

Baghel said that Ministers from Congress-ruled states who are part of the GST Council should be included in the GoM. It is unfortunate “not to include any members of Congress-ruled states” and this is against the spirit of cooperative federalism, he said.

For many days, the Congress has been demanding for exemption of GST on vaccines, medicines and other devices to effectively combat the Covid pandemic.

In the meeting of the GST Council, Ministers of Congress-ruled states had proposed a relaxation of GST in this regard to 0.1 percent rate instead of 5 percent. The eight-member panel will look into the matter.

Baghel said that Congress Ministers have been ignored “deliberately” so that this demand is not considered.