West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced Wednesday that her party, Trinamool Congress, will not attend the midnight programme in Parliament on June 30 when GST will be launched. In a Facebook post, she said she was deeply concerned about the ‘hurried’ implementation of GST and termed it ‘another epic blunder by Centre.”
“We have been for GST from the beginning but are very worried now with the way the Central Government is going ahead with the implementation. Our repeated suggestions to take some more time to properly implement GST have fallen on deaf ears. The entire business community, especially the small and medium ones, are scared and confused,” said Banerjee.
The Chief Minister expressed her concern about the imminent rise of prices of many commodities in the state.
“Only 60 hours are left before this ill-planned launch and no one knows for sure what’s happening! Essential commodities such as medicines are not available in many places and prices of various commodities are rising for lack of clarity and mismanagement,” she said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said on Tuesday that there should be no politics over the GST launch as all decisions were taken by the GST council.
“I don’t know what they will do. All decisions (on GST) were taken collectively and we want the launch programme to reflect the collective nature of our polity,” he said when asked about the Congress being non-commital on the issue.
“The Congress party is examining various aspects of the issue, including the manner the GST is being implemented causing harassment to the common people, the unorganised sector and small businessmen,” Surjewala had earlier said.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and members of Parliament will be present at the launch. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda have also been invited.
All states except Jammu and Kashmir have passed the State GST (SGST) Act. The sweeping tax reform, that is set to re-shape the $2 trillion economy, will be launched in the Central Hall of Parliament.