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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday hit out at the government over the rise in taxes on pre-packed food items and hotel stays, alleging that the prime minister’s “Gabbar Singh Tax” is now taking the shape of “Grihasti Sarvnaash Tax” (household destruction tax).

“Declining income and employment, topped with a rising blow of inflation.

The Prime Minister’s ‘Gabbar Singh Tax‘ has now taken a formidable shape of ‘Grihasthi Sarvnaash Tax‘ (household destruction tax),” Gandhi said on Twitter.

He cited a news report that taxes on food items, studies and hotel stays would become expensive.

The former Congress chief had dubbed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as “Gabbar Singh Tax” earlier.

Pre-packed and labelled food items like meat, fish, curd, ‘paneer’ and honey will now attract GST, a tax that will also be levied on the fee that banks charge for the issue of cheques.

This after the GST Council – the highest decision-making body on the levy of goods and services tax – accepted most of the recommendations of a group of ministers from states on withdrawing exemptions with a view to rationalising the levy, officials said.

The panel headed by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and comprising representatives of all states and UTs, on the first day of the two-day meeting accepted the GoM’s recommendation for reviewing the exemption from GST that packed and labelled food items currently get.

So pre-packed and labelled meat (except frozen), fish, curd, paneer, honey, dried leguminous vegetables, dried makhana, wheat and other cereals, wheat flour, jaggery, puffed rice (muri), all goods and organic manure and coir pith compost will not be exempted from GST and will now attract a five per cent tax.

Similarly, an 18 per cent GST will be levied on fees charged by banks for the issue of cheques (loose or in book form). Maps and charts, including atlases, will attract a 12 per cent levy. Goods that are unpacked, unlabelled and unbranded will continue to remain exempt from GST.

Besides, a 12 per cent tax on hotel rooms below Rs 1,000 per day will be levied, as against a tax exemption currently.

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