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We Will Not Support GST in It’s Present Form: Mamta Banerjee

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed financial emergency is still on in India and reiterated that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill is not acceptable to the state government in its present form.

“Amit Mitra (State Finance Minister) is very annoyed. Our state Chief Secretary will also discuss in details. We have decided to send a strong letter to Union Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley),” Banerjee said while chairing an administrative review meeting at Pailan in South 24 Parganas.

“We will not support the GST Bill in its present form where the unorganised sector and poor people would face a lot of problems. They will be in acute crisis. The (Centre) will have to rectify,” she said.

The Trinamool Congress supremo’s comments came a day after she threatened that Mitra would resign as Chairman of the Empowered Committee on the GST if it continued to “ignore” him.

“The Centre is not listening to us. They are taking unilateral decisions. We know that the unorganised sector and the small scale industry here would face a lot of problems. The film and the book industry would also be in trouble after the bill is implemented,” Banerjee alleged.

“We have given a strong letter to the Centre about this. Our Chief Secretary (Basudeb Banerjee) is also writing a letter to them as he understands these issues well,” Banerjee said while interacting with businessmen during an administrative meeting in Hooghly district on Thursday.

While the Centre has decided to roll out the GST regime on July 1, the state government has argued that it was not ready and that small and medium-scale industries were not equipped to handle the new tax regime.

The state government has also sought reduction in the proposed rates for a number of products.

Th West Bengal assembly has not passed the state GST Bill yet.

Banerjee also announced that the state will consider January-December as financial year from now.

Referring to the Income Tax Department warning people against indulging in cash transaction of Rs 2 lakh or more, Banerjee said: “I saw the advertisement today (on Friday). That means financial emergency is still on. Nobody has any freedom… even if you earn, you can’t do anything. You can’t withdraw money (as per your will).”

Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress has been on the warpath with the Centre over demonetisation.

On Thursday, she criticised the Centre for the decline in GDP growth, saying her apprehension of “drastic decline in productivity” due to demonetisation has proven true.

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