Rahul Gandhi accuses govt of GST hike on scientific equipment

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi lashed out at the Centre over the latest revisioin to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on scientific instruments, stating that the move would harm the country's research eco-system.

"Prime Minister, don't let science suffer because of your 'Gabbar Singh Tax.' Reduce the GST on scientific equipment "In a Facebook post on Monday, the Congress leader said.

Gandhi argued that the increase in the GST rate was a concerning sign."Scientific progress is the bedrock of any nation's development. The BJP government's tendency of reducing funding for scientific research is a concerning sign for India's research ecosystem "He said.

Members of the GST Council urged raising the GST on scientific and technical instruments delivered to publicly financed research institutes from 5% to 12-18% at a meeting last month in Chandigarh.
"By increasing the GST rates on scientific instruments from 5% to 18%, the government is demonstrating its careless approach and further lowering funding and resources available for labs engaging in scientific activities across the country," the Congress leader said.

Gandhi stated that the government had already reduced the budget of the Union Ministry of Science and Technology by 3.9 percent this year.

On Sunday, Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram slammed the government for raising the GST rate. 

"Perhaps the government feels that gazing at the sky and re-imagining our past will provide us with all the scientific information we require," he said.

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