TMC will not attend midnight GST roll-out programme

TMC supremo shared this information on Facebook while the Congress has objected to the invitation that says the Prime Minister will launch the biggest tax reform in India’s history

Photo by Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NH Web Desk

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday that her party TMC will not attend the GST roll-out programme on June 30 midnight as she flayed the “unnecessary hurry” to roll it out.

The TMC supremo shared this information on her facebook page saying that after demonetisation the disastrous hurry to roll out GST is another epic blunder by the centre.

In her post, she complained, “our repeated suggestions to take some more time to properly implement GST have fallen in deaf ears. The entire business community, especially the small and medium ones, are scared and confused. Only 60 hours are left before this ill planned launch and no one knows for sure what's happening!”

Criticising the ruling BJP, she said, “The current ruling party at the Centre had initially strongly opposed GST for over 7 years and suddenly did a somersault on coming to office as a champion of GST.”

She mentioned the 3-day strike declared by the Textile Industries of India to convey that the Indian economy is not yet prepared to face GST.

“Small business entities are not yet ready with the basic requirements like invoice, accounting system, IT system, etc. Another piece of evidence of unpreparedness comes from the fact that the ‘Return Form’ had to be simplified for the first 6 months as all systems are not in place. 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 added that at least 6 months’ time will be necessary “to notify all rules and procedures and give enough time to the stakeholders, particularly the Small and Medium Enterprises to successfully implement the GST.”

Meanwhile the Congress has been oscillating for days between agreeing to attend the GST roll-out or not. It objected on Wednesday to the way the invitation reads. The invitation says that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the tax reform. But in fact, it is the President who should do it, the Congress argued.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “How can the Prime Minister launch GST in presence of the President? This is not done and acceptable.”

The government has invited all chief ministers and members of Parliament to attend the function. It has requested former prime ministers Dr Manmohan Singh and HD Devegowda to join the Prime Minister and the President at the high table during the launch.

Dr Manmohan Singh is yet to confirm whether he will participate or not. The function is scheduled to start at 11 pm on Friday.

With inputs from PTI

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