GST marks death of democracy, says Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee said the entire business community especially the small and medium ones are scared and confused ahead of the GST rollout

Mamata Banerjee said the entire business community especially the small and medium ones are scared and confused ahead of the GST rollout

Regarding her party's stand in GST, the TMC chief said: "We have been for GST from the beginning but are very anxious now with the way the Central Government is going ahead with the implementation". She said in the post, "Our repeated suggestions to take some more time to properly implement GST have fallen on deaf ears". "Our parliamentary party has decided not to attend the 30th June 2017 midnight program at the Parliament House to celebrate GST, as a mark of protest (sic)", she wrote.

The Chief Minister expressed her concern about the imminent rise of prices of many commodities in the state. "Given atmosphere in the country of vindictively targeting anyone who dares to disagree with Central Government, I am deeply concerned that arrest clause in GST may well be used to target business leaders who raise the voice of dissent on any policy matter/any practices", Banerjee said. Meanwhile, state Finance Minister Amit Mitra said, "On regional cinema in Bengal, irrespective of the GST rate, the tax would remain at two per cent".

With just hours to go before the nation-wide roll-out of the historic Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Mamata Banerjee government has once again warned the Narendra Modi government of an impending "catastrophe", as a large section of small and medium businesses are still not prepared for the new tax regime.

"We have always been fighting for maintaining the federal structure of the country, even if Bengal at times was the lone voice and conscience of the GST Council", she said.

In fact, Mitra skipped the last GST Council meeting in held Srinagar last month. "There are nearly 20 different taxes in the present tax regime and we felt that one single tax and integration of all markets across the country will provide a big relief to all", Mamata said. Sandip Mallik of the Balaram and Radharam Mullick Sweets said that the 1.5 lakh shops across West Bengal are feeling victimized by the GST slabs of the Centre.

She further added that the 3 days strike declared by the Textile Industries of India provides evidence to our deep concerns about the lack of preparedness. "It is shocking that the e-Waybill System is not yet designed and states are being asked to run their own systems as a stopgap arrangement", she said and added that at least another six months were required to notify all stakeholders and streamline the process.

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