Chidambaram slams govt for increasing GST on scientific equipments

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Criticising the increase in GST on scientific equipments, former finance minister P. Chidambaram on Sunday said government believes that all the scientific knowledge that we need can be gathered by gazing at the sky and re-imagining our past.

“GST on scientific equipment needed by research institutions and universities raised from 5% to 12-18%. This unkind act is after reducing the budget allocation of the Ministry of Science by 3.9% from last year,” he tweeted.

The Opposition has hit out at the government for hike in GST rates on household items.

Tax rates have been increased from 12 per cent to 18 per cent on products such as printing, writing or drawing ink, knives with cutting blades, spoons, forks, paper knives, pencil sharpeners, and LED lamps.

Five per cent GST will also be charged on hospital rooms above Rs 5,000 per day, although ICU beds have been exempted.

Reacting to the development, the Congress said that these rate revisions are unwelcome at a time when inflation is putting pressure on the pockets of the common man.

The GST Council, during a two-day meeting in June, had accepted recommendations for rate rationalisation made by sub-groups, resulting in tax changes effective from July 18.

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