March 29, 2017
Bengal fought hard to protect cooperative federalism during the formulation of GST: Trinamool
Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee today said in the Lok Sabha that “Bengal fought hard to preserve and protect cooperative federalism in the process of the formulation of the GST”. He was speaking during a discussion of the GST Bills in Parliament.
In his speech he highlighted the proactive role taken by the Finance Minister of Bengal, who is the Chairman of the Empowered Committee. “Bengal Finance Minister was instrumental in bringing about a broad consensus amongst states on single control in the hands of the State below Rs 1.5 crore turnover of small business in its meeting in the great city Calcutta many months ago,” he said.
He reiterated that Mamata Banerjee had in-principle supported the concept of GST as early as 2009 in our party-manifesto. Kalyan Banerjee said, “Bengal engaged uncompromisingly in a spirit of cooperative federalism and fiscal autonomy of the States.”
He cautioned the government against rushing ahead with the legislation; he said steps must be taken to make the system fully error free or else the whole indirect taxation system would collapse. He pitched for an e-based taxation system and said industry must be given sufficient time to prepare themselves for the new system.
Kalyan Banerjee also reminded the government that GST is the result of the hard work by all and no one should claim credit for it alone.
Also speaking on the issue, Saugata Roy cautioned the government against the “technological nightmare” that GSTN could bring and asked the government not to hurry. “If there will be any breakdown in the server, all over the country GST will go flat. So, Sir, I want the Government to be very careful. Government has said that they will train 60,000 officers for this job. For that, at least six months are necessary,” he said.
He also reminded the government that prices should not rise during the transition period. He wanted to know why the government was in a hurry o pass GST when the rates of individual commodities have not yet been decided. He wanted to know from the Centre where would the extra money come from to compensate the States.