As Chandigarh celebrated the 3rd International Yoga Day at Sector 17 Plaza on Wednesday, the UT Administration took the opportunity to use the platform to promote the Goods and Services Tax (GST) scheme which is all set to be rolled out from July 1. The event, which saw participation of 3,000 people, was presided by Union Health Minister JP Nadda and UT Administrator VP Singh Badnore.
Adopting a unique way to promote GST, the administration installed boards merging the concept of GST and yoga. ‘One Nation, One Tax, ‘One Nation, Common Asan’, read the slogans. Highlighting the benefit of GST, the board read, “GST is a great step by Team India, great step towards transformation, great step towards transparency.”
“Hundreds of people participated in the event. That is why we thought that this was the best platform to make people aware about GST. The idea of bringing yoga and GST together is to highlight that both will benefit the nation,” said UT Deputy Commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi.
One hour of yoga cost UT Admn over Rs 30L
Over Rs 12 lakh were spent on purchasing 3,000 mats and 3,000 yoga t-shirts. According to sources, cost of one mat was around Rs 285. Other than this, around Rs 8 to 10 lakh were incurred on the lavish stage, tentage and sound system.
The remaining amount was spent on 14 LED screens installed at the venue for the live telecast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lucknow event, packaged water bottles, display boards and the green carpeting.
Even as tenders were floated for separate procurement by the Director Health Services (DHS) office, however, the director Rakesh Kashyap refused to divulge further details on the matter. He referred to Dr Kapila, the nodal officer, who too refused to give any details on the tender process.
Besides Chandigarh Police, 50 parking attendants participated in the yoga session other than BJP councillors and party workers. Hundreds of volunteers were provided by the Sant Nirankari Mandal to help in coordination of various activities.
Nadda in his address highlighted the benefits of yoga and sought collective efforts to improve public health, promote peaceful relations and usher in a life of dignity for all.