Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hit out at the Centre over the latest revision in Goods and Services Tax (GST) on scientific instruments claiming that the step would prove detrimental to the interests of the research eco-system in the country.
“Don’t let science suffer because of your ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’, Prime Minister. Roll back the GST on scientific equipments,” the Congress leader said in a Facebook post on Monday.
Gandhi claimed that the hike in the GST rate was a worrisome sign.
“Scientific advancement is the cornerstone for the development of any nation. The pattern of reduction in the allocation of funds for scientific research by the BJP govt is a worrisome sign for the research ecosystem in India,” he added.
At a GST Council meeting held in Chandigarh last month, members had recommended raising the GST on scientific and technical instruments supplied to public-funded research institutes to 12 to 18 percent from the prevailing 5 percent.
“Now, by increasing the GST rates from 5 percent to 18 percent on scientific instruments, the government is displaying its thoughtless approach and further
reducing funds and resources available for labs involved in scientific work across the country,” the Congress leader added.
Gandhi said the government had already cut the Union Ministry of Science and Technology ministry’s budget by 3.9 percent this year.
On Sunday, Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram also criticised the government for the GST rate hike.
“The Government perhaps believes that all the scientific knowledge that we need can be gathered by gazing at the sky and re-imagining our past,” he had said.